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ShO 



THE 


PROSE OR YOUNGER 

EDD A 


COMMONLY ASCRIBED TO 


SNORRI STURLUSON 

TRANSLATED FROM THE OLD NORSE 


BY 

GEORGE WEBBE DASENT, B. A. OXON. 



STOCKHOLM. 

NORSTEDT AND SONS 

1842 . 




TO 


THOMAS CARLYL E. 






































■* 














* 






PREFACE BY THE TRANSLATOR. 


The short work now for the first time, it 
is believed, laid before the English reader, forms 
in the original the first part of a collection 
published by Prof. Rask at Stockholm in 1818, 
under the following title. “Snorra-Edda asamt 
Skaldu og farmed fylgjandi Rit-gjorSum”. “Snor- 
ri’s Edda together with the Skalda and the 
Treatises thereto belonging”. It was the opinion 
of that great Philologist that this collection grew 
together in the family of Snorri Sturluson, the 
work of several hands at different times; and 
the Translator has not scrupled to separate wri- 
tings, which have scarcely any other connection 
than the fact of their being found following one 
another in the same MS. At some other time 
he looks forward to stating his convictions on 
this matter, and his reasons for them, at greater 
length ; but for the present he must content 
himself with saying, that his opinion is in the 
main the same as that mentioned above as ex- 
pressed by Prof. Rask. 

Without entering into any discussion on 
the present occasion, as to the time at which 
the younger Edda was written, or as to its 
author; The Translator wishes to say that he 


VI 


P R E F A C E. 

lias felt no hesitation in placing the “Foreword 
to the Edda”, along with the “Afterwords to 
Gylfi’s Mocking and the Edda’’, at the end of. 
the volume, partly because they are plainly of 
a later age, but chiefly because he is desirous 
to save the reader from falling at the very 
threshold, into those false conceptions con- 
cerning the nature of the Asa in the old Norse 
Mythology, with which the Foreword in question 
is filled. 

He has also taken the liberty of printing 
separately and under a different title, the chap- 
ter which in the original stands as the first in 
’’Gylfi’s Mocking”, because however interesting, 
it has clearly nothing in common with what 
follows, and is doubtless, the interpolation of 
some early copyist, who thought himself bound 
to write down at the same time all he knew 
about Gylfi, and could find no better place for 
this myth than to set it first: it is remarkable 
that in the Upsala MS., said by some to be the 
oldest extant, this chapter is omitted. 

With regard to the Translation itself, his 
chief wish was to make it as faithful as possi- 
ble, and though he knows that it might have 
been smoother throughout, and that it contains 


i 


much that will seem harsh and abrupt, both 
in wording and construction, to the polished ears 
of the 19th century, he could not help himself 
in these respects, his aim being to make a 
translation, not a paraphrase. In one passage 
only he has been forced to soften words, which 
the simple Norse tongue spoke out boldly with- 
out shame, but which our age, less inwardly 
pure perhaps, but more outwardly sensitive to 
what is unseemly, cannot hear without a blush. 

After all the pains he has bestowed on his 
translation, he is well aware that faults are to 
be found in it, and that his renderings of 
doubtful passages, may not tally with those of 
others ; but in the gloom which still hangs over 
many customs of the Old Norsemen, and above all 
in the want of a good Glossary of their tongue , 
(for the collection of Bjorn Ilaldorson is poor 
and meagre in the extreme *) he trusts that his 
failings will be treated with mildness, since 
all may stumble in the dark. 

It was his intention to prefix a facsimile 
from a celebrated MS. of the Edda, preserved 
in the Library of the University of Upsala, 

*) May the Old Noise Glossary on which Mr. Cleasbv 
is said to be at work soon appear. 


I 


VIII PREFACE. 

and up to the very last moment lie hoped that 
this might he possible; hut hindrances, to he 
looked for rather in the Vatican than at Up- 
sala, have rendered this intention and hope 
alike fruitless. 

Lastly there is yet one point on which a 
few words must he said: most readers, it is 
likely, will think a work of the kind incomplete, 
nay useless, without a good Index of Proper 
Names and their meanings; to this objection the 
Translator is willing to allow very considerable 
weight, hut as his excuse he would state that 
considerable progress had been made in such 
an Index, when circumstances arose, which 
would have made it, if printed, a hurried pro- 
duction, and rather than do the thing ill he 
gave it up for the present. It is however his 
purpose to translate the" Skalda at some future 
time, should leisure and health he granted him, 
and he hopes then to atone for the imperfec- 
tions of this volume, by an Index" which will 
serve for both works, as there are comparati- 
vely speaking few Names to be met with in 
the one, which do not also occur in the other. 

Ulfsunda near Stockholm, July 20th, 1842. 


1 




«!*» 





\ 


THE YOUNGER EDDA. 








Als producte der vernunft (aber nicht .der 
denkenden) enthalten die religionen der volker, 
so auch die mythologien, sie mogen noch so einfach, 
ja lappisch erscheinen, wie achte kunstwerke, 
allerdings gedanken, allgeraeine bestimmungen, 
das wahre, denn der instinct der verniinftig- 
heit liegt ihnen zu grunde. 

Hegel. Gesch. der Philosopli. p. 98. 

De sallsamma bilder, som mota oss i denna 
v&ra forfaders lara , skola redan i sig sjelfva vara 
be vis nog, att vi har intrada i en for oss och 
all nyare odling framraande, langesedan forsvun- 
nen den menskliga tankans verld, hvars hiero- 
glyfer aro lika undransvarda, som ofta s vara att 



Geijer. Svea Rites Hiifder. p. 311. 


t 




CONTENTS OF THE YOUNGER EDDA. 

Page 

Gefiun’s Ploughing. 

Gylfi’s Mocking 1. 

Bragi’s Telling '• 86. 

Foreword to tlie Edda 96. 

Afterword to GylfTs Mocking 112. 

Afterword to the Edda 113. 


GEFIUN’S PLOUGHING. 


King Gylfi ruled in that land which now hight 
Svijfiod, of him it is said that he gave a wayfaring 
woman, as the meed of the passtime she made him. 
a ploughland in his realm, which four oxen could 
ear up in a day and a night. But that woman 
was one of the Asa stock, she is named Gefiun, 
she took four oxen from the north out of Jotun- 
heim ; but they were the sons of a Giant and her, 
and set them before a plough. But the plough 
went so hard and deep that it tore up the land, 
and the oxen drew that land out to sea and west- 
ward, and stood still in a certain sound. There 
set Gefiun the Jand, and gave it a name and called 
it Saelund. And the room whence the land had gone 
up became afterward water, which is now called 
The Water (lavgrinn) in Svifiod; and the bays in 
the lake lie just as the headlands in Saelund. So 
saith bard Bragi the old. 

“Gefiun drew from Gylfi Four heads and eight 

glad in deep-stored goods, brow-moons bore the oxen, 

so that from the race-reek as they went with the wide 

it steamed, Denmark’s swelling; reft field of the dear isle.” 


GYLFI’S MOCKING. 


King Gylfi was a man, wise and skilled in spells, 
lie wondered much that the Asafolk was so cunning 
that all things went after their will, (and) he thought 
to himself whether that might be from their own 
nature, or because of the mighty Gods whom they 
worshipped. He began his journey to Asgard and 
went stealthily, and took on him an old man’s like- 
ness, and hid himself so. But the Asa were wiser 
than he in that they had spaedom, and they saw 
his journey before he came, and made ready against 
him false shows. Now when he was come into the 
burg then saw he there a hall so high that he 

was scarce able to see over it, it’s roof was laid 

with gilded shields as it were with shingles. So 

saith fiodolf of Hvina that Valhall was thatcht 
with shields. 

“Warriors care-vext Let on the hack glisten 

(smitten with stones were they) Svafnir’s roof-tree.” 

Gylfi saw a man in the hall-door who played 
with small-swords, and had seven aloft at once, 

that (man) asked him first for his name, he called 
Gylfi $ Mocking. 1 


2 


GYLFl’s MOCKING. 


himself Gangleri, and (said he was) come from 
a far journey and prayed to seek a nights’ lodging; 
and asked who owned the hall. He answers that was 
their King, “But I may lead thee to see him, and 
then shallt thou thyself ask him his name:” and the 
man turned before him into the hall, but he went 
after, and straitwav the door shut to at his heels. There 
saw he many rooms and much folk, some a-playing, 
some a-drinking, some with weapons a-fighting: 
then he turned him about and thought many things 
past belief that he saw, then quoth he 

“Every gate for hard *tis to tell 

ere one goes on where foes are sitting 

about should he scanned, i’ th* house before thee.** 

He saw three highseats one above the other, 
and three men sat, one in each, then asked he what 
the names of those Lords might be. He that led 
him in answers, that he who sat in the nethermost 
high seat; was a King and hight Har, but next sat 
one hight Jafnhar, and uppermost he that hight 
frifr'i. Then Har asks the comer what more his 
errand is, and says meat and drink are free to him 
as to all there in Hava-hall. He says he will first 
spy out if there be any wise man there within. 
Har says, that he comes not whole out unless he 
be wiser, 


CYLFI’S mocking. 


3 


“and stand thou forth 
since thou askest 
he that sayetli shall sit'*. 

3. Gangleri began his speed] thus; Who is first 
or eldest of all Gods? Har says. He bight Allfadir 
in our tongue, but in the old As&ard he had twelve 

u ^ O 

names; the first is Allfadir, the second is Herran or 
Herian, the third is Nikarr or Hnikarr, the fourth 
is Nikuz or HnikuSr, the fifth Fiolnir, the sixth 
Oske, the seventli Omi, the eighth Bifliji or Biflindi, 
the ninth Svi&orr, the tenth Svi^rir, the eleventh 
VfSrir, the twelfth Jalg or Jalkr. Then asks Gan- 
gleri; Where is that God? or what is his might ? or 
what has he been pleased to work out? Har says. 
He lives from all ages, and rules over all his realm, 
and sways all things great and small. Then said 
In fn liar. He smithied heaven and earth and the lift 
and all that belongs to them. Then said J>ri<5i: 
What is most he made man, and gave him a soul 
that shall live and never perish, though the body 
rot to mould or burn to ashes; and all men that 
are right-minded shall live and be with himself in 
the place called Y ingolf; but wicked men fare to 
Hell, and thence into Niflhel that is beneath in the 
ninth world. Then said Gangleri; Where kept he 
ere Heaven and Earth were yet made? Then ans- 
wers Har: Then was he with the Hrimfursar. 


4 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


4. Gangleri said,- What was the beginning? or 
how did it arise? or what was before? Har ans- 
wers: As it is said in Yoluspa. 


“Twas the morning of time 
when yet naught was, 
nor sand nor sea was there, 
nor cooling streams; 


Earth was not found 
nor Heaven above 
a Yawning-gap there was, 
hut grass nowhere**. 


Then spake Jafnhar: Many ages ere the earth 
was shapen was Niflheim made; and in the midst 
of it Jieth the spring bight Hvergelmir and thence 
fall those rivers bight thus. Svavl, Gunnfra, Fiorm, 
Firnbul, ful, SliSr and Hrif, Sylgr and Ylgr, ViS 
Leiptr, Gioll is nearest Helgate. Then spake frfSi: 
But first was that world in the southern sphere 
bight Muspell, it is so bright and hot that it burns 
and blazes, and may not be trodden by those who 
are outlandish and have no heritage there. He is 
named Surtr who sits there on the border to guard 
the Land; he has a flaming sword, and at the end 
of the world will he fare forth and berry and 
overcome all the Gods, and burn all the world 
with fire; so it is said in Voluspa. 

“Surtr fares south fro Rocks dash together, 

with blazing brand. Giants totter, 

from the sword of the sphere-God Men tread the way to Hel; 
shineth a sunbeam, hut Heaven is cleft’*. 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


5 


5. Gangleri said; What was the shape of tilings 
ere the races were yet mingled, and the folk of 
men grew? Then said Har: Those rivers that are 
called Elivagar, when they were come so far from 
their springhead that the quick venom which flow- 
ed with them hardened, as dross that runs out of 
the fire, then became that ice; and when the ice 
stood still and ran not, then gathered over it that 
damp which arose from the venom and froze to 
rime; and the rime waxed, each (layer) over the 
other, all into Ginnunga-gap. Then spake Jafnhar: 
Ginminga-gap which looked toward the north parts 
was filled with thick and heavy ice and rime, and 
everywhere within were fogs and gusts; but the 
south side of Ginnunga-gap was lightened by the 
the sparks and gledes that flew r out of Muspellheim. 
Then spake JriS'i: As cold arose out of Nifllieim 
and all things grim, so w r as that part that looked 
towards Muspell hot and bright; but Ginnunga-gap 
was as light as windless air; and when the blast 
of heat met the rime, so that it melted and drop- 
ped and quickened from those lifedrops, by the 
might of him who sends the heat there w r as sha- 
ped the likeness of a man, and he was named Ymir, 
but the Hrimfursar call him Avrgclmir; and thence 
are sprung the stock of the Hrlinpursar, as is said 
in Voluspa the short. 


6 


GYLFl’s MOCKING 


“From Vidolfi 
are witches all, 

From Vilmei^i 
wisards all. 

But as to this thus 
when Gagnradr asked 

“Whence came Avrgelmir, 


But poisonseethers 
from Svart-havfda , 

Giants all 
from Ymir come/* 

says VafJ?ru£nir the Giant 

From Eliv&gar 

sprang venom drops, 

and waxed till a Giant was made. 


of the sons of the giant 
first. Thou wise Giant? 


Thence are our kindred 
Come all together, 
Therefore are we so stout/* 


Then said Gangleri; How waxed the races to- 
gether from him, or what was done so that more 
men came? or trowest thou him God whom thou 
now spakest of? Then answers Har: By no means 
may we believe him to be God, he was bad 
and all his kind, them call we Hrimfursar: and 
so it is said, when he slept he fell into a sweat 5 
then waxed under his left hand a man and a wo- 
man, and one of his feet gat a son with the other; 
and thence cometh that race, those are the Hrfm- 
j^ursar; the old H if m furs him call we Ymir. 

6. Then said Gangleri; Where abode Ymir? 
or on what lived he? The next thing when the rime 
dropped was that the cow hight Audhumla was 
made of it, but four milk-rivers ran out of her 
teals and she fed Ymir; then said Gangleri. On what 
did the cow feed ? Har says; She licked rime-stones 


GYLFI’S MOCKING. 


7 


which were salt, aud the first day that she licked 

the stones, there came at even out of the stones a 

man’s hair, the second day a man s head, the third 

day all the man was there 5 He is named Buri, he 

was fair of face, great and mighty 5 he gat a son 

hight Bdrr. He took (to him) the woman hight Besla, 

daughter of Bolforn the Giant, and they had three 

sons, the first hight Odin, the second Vili, the third 

Ve: and I trow this Odin and his brethren must 

be the steerers of heaven and earth, and we think 

that he must be so called, so hight the man whom 

we know to be greatest and lordliest 5 and well 

may they (men) give him this name. 

* * * * * * * 

7 . Then said Gangleri. What atonement was 

there between them, or which were the stronger? 

Then answers Har; Bor's sons slew Ymir the Giant; 

but when he fell there ran so much blood out of 

his wounds, that with that they drowned all the 

kind of the Hrimfursar, save one who got away with 

his household ; him the giants call Bergelmir, he went 

on board his boat, and (with him) his wife, and 

held him there; and of them are come the race of 

Hrfmfursar, as is t here said. 

“Winters past counting that first I remember, 

ere earth was yet shaped out, how the Giant so crafty 
then was Bergelmir horn; was stowed in the skiff safe.*’ 


8 


GYLFJ’S MOCKING. 


8. Then answers Gangleri ; What was done then 
by Bor’s sons, if thou trowest that they be Gods? 
Har says 5 Thereof is not little to say. They took 
Ymir and bore (him) into the midst of Ginnunga- 
gap, and made of him the earth : of his blood seas 
and waters, of his flesh earth was made; but of 
his bones the rocks $ stones and pebbles made they 
of his teeth and jaws and of the bones that were 
broken. Then said Jafnhar. Of that blood which 
ran out of the wounds and flowed free, they made 
the (great) sea, &nd anon set the earth fast and laid 
that sea round about it in a ring without; and it 
must seem to most men beyond their strength to 
come over it. Then said frfSi : They took also his 
skull and made thereof heaven and set it up over 
the earth with four sides, and under each corner 
they set dwarves: they bight thus Austri, Vestri, 
Nor]? ri, Su]?ri. Then took they the sparks and gle- 
des that went loose and had been cast outofMus- 
pelheim, and set (them) in heaven, both above and 
below, to give light to heaven and earth ; (and) they 
gave resting-places to all fires and set some in Heaven ; 
some fared free under heaven and they gave them 
a place and shaped their goings: So it is said in 
old songs, that from that time were days and 
years marked out; as is said in Voluspa. 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


9 


“Sun that wist not what power he had, 

where she her hall had, stars that wist not 

Moon that wist not where an abode they had”. 

So was it ere this shape of earth was. Then 
said Gangleri; Great tidings are these I now hear, 
a wondrous mickle smithying is that, and deftly 
done. How was the earth fashioned? Then answers 
Har: It is round without and there beyond round 
about it, lieth the deep sea; and on that sea-strand 
gave they land for an abode to the kind of Giants, 
but within on the earth made they a burg round 
the world, against restless giants, and for this burg 
reared they the brows of Ymir the giant, and cal- 
led the burg Midgard : they took also his brain and 
cast (it) aloft, and made thereof the clouds as is 
here said. 


“Of Ymirs flesh 
was earth y-shapen, 
hut of his sweat seas; 
rocks of his hones, 
trees of his hair, 
hut of his skull heaven,” 


“But of his brows 
made the blithe powers 
Midgard for mens sons; 
But of his hrain 
were hard of mood 
the clouds all y-shapen.” 


9. Then said Gangleri; Methought they had 
then brought much about, when Heaven and earth 
were made, and Sun and moon were set, and days 
marked out; but whence came the men that dwell 
in the world ? Then answers Har : As Bor’s sons 


10 


GYLVl’s MOCKING. 


went along the sea-strand they found two stocks, 
(and) shaped out of them men. The first gave soul 
and life, the second wit and will to move, the 
third face, speech, hearing, and eyesight,* (they) 
gave them clothing and names; the man bight Ask, 
but the woman Embla; and thence was the kind of 
man begotten, to whom an abode was given under 
Midgard. Then next they, (Bor’s sons) made them 
a burg in the midst of the world, that is called 
Asgard: [that call we Troy] there abode the Gods 
and their kind, and wrought thence many tidings 
and feats both on earth and in the sky. There is 
one place hight Hlijskialf, and when Odin sat there 
in his highseat, then saw he over the whole world 
and each man’s behaviour, and knew all things that 
he saw. His wife hight Frigg Fiorgvin’s daughter, 
and from their offspring is the kindred come 
that we call the Asa stock, who dwelt in Asgard 
the old and the realms which lie about it; and all 
that stock are known to be Gods. And for this 
may he hight Allfadir, that he is father of all the 
Gods and men, and of all that was wrought out by 
him and his strength; Earth was his daughter and 
wife, and of her got he the first son, and that was 
Asa-forr: him followed strength and sturdiness, 
thereby quelleth he all things quick. 


GYLFI’S MOCKING. 


11 


10. Norvi or Narfi hight a giant who abode 

O O 

in Jotunheim, he had a daughter bight Nott , she 
was swart and dark like the stock she belonged to; 
she was given to the man hight Naglfari, their son 
hight AuSr, next was she given to him hight An- 

O * O D 

narr, JorS bight their daughter; last Dellfngr had 
her, he was of the Asa-stock, their son was Dagr, 
light and fair was he after his father. Then took 
Allfadur Nott and Dagr her son, and gave them 
two horses and two cars, and set them up in hea- 
ven that they should drive round the earth each 
in twelve hours by turns: Nott rides first on the 
horse that is called Hrimfaxi, and every morn he 
bedews the earth with the foam from his bit. The 
horse that Dagr has bight Skinfaxi, and all the sky 
and earth glistens from his mane. 

11. Then said Gangleri; How steereth he the 
going of the Sun and Moon? Har says. The man 
who is named Mundilfori had two children, they 
were so fair and free that he called one of them 
(the son) Mani (Moon), but his daughter Sol (Sun), 
and gave her to the man hight Glenr: but the 
Gods were wrath at his pride, and took that kin- 
dred and set (them) up in Heaven ; (and) let Sol 
drive the horses that drew the car of the Sun, which 
the Gods had made to give light to the world ont 


12 


GVLFl’S MOCKING, 


of those sparks that flew out from Muspelheim, 
those horses hight thus Arvakr, and AlsvfSr: and 
under the withers of the horses the Gods set two 
wind-bags to cool them,* but in some songs that is 
called fsarncol (iron, and ice cooling). Mani steers 
the going of the moon, and sways his rise and wane; 
he took two children from earth hight thus, Bil 
and Hiiiki, and they went from the spring hight 
Byrgir, and bare on their shoulders the bucket that 
Saegr hight, and the pole Simul; ViSfinnr is named 
their father,* these children follow Mani as may be 
seen from earth. 

12. Then said Gangleri; Swift fares the Sun 
and near as if she were afraid, nor could she 
make more speed on her way an she dreaded her 
bane. Then answers Har; Not wonderful is it that 
she fares amain ; near cometh he that seeketh her, 
and no way to escape hath she save to run be- 
fore him. Then said Gangleri,* Who is he that ma- 
le eth her this toil? Har says: It is two wolves and 
he that fares after her hight Skoll; him she fears, 
and he must overtake her: but he that hight Hati 
HroSvitnir's son bounds before her, and he wills to 
catch the moon, and so must it be. Then said 
Gangleri; What is the stock of these wolves? Har 
answers; A hag dwells eastward of Midgard in the 


GYLFl’s MOCKING. 


13 


wood bight JarnvfSr, in that wood abide those wit- 
ches hight JarnviSiur, the old hag brought forth 
many giant sons, and all in wolf’s likeness; and 
thence sprung these wolves; and so it is said, of 
that stock will arise one the mightiest, who is cal- 
led Managarm; he will be filled with the lifeblood 
of all those men that die; and he will swallow the 
moon, and stain with blood heaven and all the sky; 
thence loses the sun his sheen, and the winds are 
then wild, and roar hither and thither; as is said 
in Voluspa. 


“Eastward sits the old (hag) 
in the iron-wood 
and brings forth there 
Fenrir’s kindred; 
there comes of them all 
one the greatest, 
the moon’s swallower , 
in a fiends shape; 


He is filled with lifeblood 
of men a-dying, 

He reddens the Gods seats 
with ruddy gore; 
swart is the sun-sliine 
of summers after, 
weather all fickle: 
are ye wise yet or what?** 


13. Then said Gangleri ; What is the path from 
earth to heaven? Then answers Har and laughed 
at (the same time). Not wisely is it now asked, hath 
it not been told thee how the Gods made a bridge 
from earth to heaven, and called it Bif-raust; that 
must thou have seen, it may be thou callest it rain- 
bow. It is of three hues and very strong and 


14 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


wrought with craft and cunning more than other 
smithyings: but though it be so strong, yet must it 
break when the children of Muspell fare to ride 
over it, and swim their horses over great rivers, 
so come they on. Then said Gangleri; Methinks the 
Gods could not have built the bridge in earnest, 
if it shall be able to break, they who can make 
what they will. Then said Har: The Gods are not 
worthy of blame for this smithying; a good bridge 
is Bifraust, but no thing is there in this, world that 
may trust in itself when the sons of Muspell come 
on to the fight. 

14. Then said Gangleri; What did Allfadir af- 
ter Asgard was made? Har said: In the beginning 
he set rulers, and bade them doom with him the 
weirds of man, and rede of the shape of the burg; 
that was in the place hight Ifavdllr in the midst 
of the burg. Their first work was to make a court 
which their seals stand in, twelve others beside the 
highseat that Allfadir hath; that house is the best 
made on earth and the biggest, it is all within and 
without as it were one gold, in the place men call 
Gladsheim. Another hall made they there, where the 
Goddesses had their Holyplace, and it was very fair; 
that house call men Vingolf. The next thing they 


GY L FI’S MOCKING. 


15 


(lid was to lay down a forge, and for it they 
wrought hammer tongs and stithy, and by help of 
these all other tools; and next to that they smithied 
ore and stone and tree, and so plentifully that ore 
hight gold , that all their housestuff had they of 
it; and that age is called gold-age but it was af- 
terward spoilt by the coming thither of the wo- 
men that came out of Jdtunheim. Then next sat 
the Gods upon their seats, and held a doom and 
bethought them how the Dwarves had quickened 
in the mould and beneath in the earth, like to mag- 
gots in flesh : the Dwarves had first been shaped 
and taken quickness in Ymir’s flesh, and were then 
maggots; but at the will of the Gods they became 
wise with the wit of men, and were in the like- 
ness of men; allbeit they abide in earth and stones: 
MoSsognir was one dwarf, and Durinn another; so 
it is said in Voluspa. 


‘‘Then went the powers all 
to their stools i’ the rack, 
Gods right-holy, 
and of that took heed, 
who should the kindred 
of dwarves shape out, 
from the briny blood 
and limbs of the blue One. 


There was Mo$rsognir 
made the master 
of Dwarves all, 
and Durinn another; 
there like to men, 
not few were shapen 
dwarves in the earth 
as Durinn said.” 


If) 


G Ltfl’S MOCKING. 


“Nyi, and Nif>i, 
Norjri, and Su{>ri 
Atistri, and Vestri, 
Alfidfr, Dvalinn, 
Nar, and Nainn, 
Nipingr, Damn, 
Bifurr, Bafurr, 
Bavmbavrr, Nori. 


Ori, Onarr, 

Oinn, Mo^Svitnir, 
Vigr, and Gandalf, 
Vinddlf, forinn, 
Fili, Kili, 
Funftinn, Vali, 
f>ror, proinn, 
peckr, Litrf, Vitr. 


/ / T 

Nyr, Nyrapr , 
Reckr, Raftsviftr.’* 


These also are Dwarves and abide in stones, 
but the first in mould $ 


“Draupnir, 
Havrr, Hugstari, 
Hleftiolfr, Gloinn, 
Dori, Ori 


Dolgf vari , 

Dufr, Anvari, 
Hepti, Fili, 
Harr, Starr.** 


But these come from Svarin’s cairn to Aurvanga 
on Joruvalla, and from them are the Lovarr sprung 5 
these are their names 


“Skirfir, Virfir, 
Skafi^r, Ai, 
Alfr, Ingi, 


Eikinskialldi , 
Fair, Frosti, 
Fifr, Ginnarr,” 


15. Then said Gangleri; What is the head- 
seat or holieststead of the Gods? Har answers: 
That is at Yggdrasil's ash, there must the Gods 

hold 


GYLfcl’S mocking. 


17 


hold their doom every day. Then said Gangleri; 
What is there to say of that stead? Then says 
Jafnhar; The Ash is of all trees best atid biggest, 
it's boughs are spread over the whole world, and 
stand above heavcil ; three roots of the tree hold 
it up and stand wide apart 5 one is with the Asa; 
the second with the Hrimjursar, there where 
aforetime was Ginnunga-gap; the third standeth 
over Niflheim, and under that root is Hvergelmir, 
but NiShavggr gnaws the root beneath. But un- 

der the root that trendeth to the Hrimf ursar there 

% 

is Mimir’s spring where knowledge and wit are 
yliidden; and he that hath the spring bight Mimir, 
he is full of wisdom, for that he drinks of the 
spring from the horn Gioll: thither came All- 
fad ir and begged a drink of the spring, but he got 
it not before he laid his eye in pledge. So it is 
said in Vdluspa 

‘‘Well know I Odinn mead drinks Mimir 

where thou thine eye hast hid, every morning 
*tis in the mere from Valfadir’s pledge; 

Mimirspring; . are ye wise yet or wliat?’* 

The third root of the Ash standeth in heaven, 
and under that root is the spring that is right 
holy higlit Ur£r’s spring; there hold the Gods their 

Gylfi’s Mocking . ~ 


I 


18 GYLFI’S MOCKING. 

doom, every day ride the Asa up thither over Bi- 
fraust, which hight also Asbridge: the horses of 
the Asa hight thus; Sleipnir is best, him hath 
Odinn he has eight feet, the second is GlaSr, the 
third Gyllir, the fourth Gler, the fifth SkeiSbrimir, 
the sixth Silfrinntoppr, the seventh Sinir, the eighth 
Gils, the ninth Falhofnir, the tenth Gulltoppr, 
Lettfeti the eleventh; Balldrs horse was burnt with 
him; but for walks to the doom and wades those 
rivers hight thus. 

“Kavrmt and Avrmt, Every day; 

and Kerlaug twain, that he fares to doom 

those shall forr wade at YggdrasiTs ash; 

For Asa-bridge 
* burns all afire, 

the holy waters boil.” 

Then said Gangleri; Burns fire over Bifraust? 
Har answers: That thou seest red in the bow is 
burning fire; the Rimegiants and the Hillogres 
(Hrimfursar oc Bergrisar) might go up to heaven 
were a path on Bifraust free to all who would 
fare (thither). Many fair homesteads are there 
in heaven and for all there is a godlike ward set: 
there stands one fair hall under the Ash by the 
spring, and out of that hall come three maidens 
hight thus, Urfr, Verfaiuli, Skidld, these maids 
shape the lives of men, them call we Nornir; yet 


Mocking. 


19 


Ore there beside Nornir who come to every man 
that is born to shape his life, and of these (some) 
are known to be godlike; but others are of the 
Elfrace, and a third kind of the dwarfstock; as 
is here said 

"Born far ilsilndcr some of the Askin are, 

me thinks the Nontir ire, somfc of the Elfkin are, 

they have not the same stock; some Dvalin’s daughters.** 

Then said Gangleri; If the Nornir rule the 
weirds of men, then they deal them very unevenly, 
for some have a good life and a rich, but some 
little gifts or praise, some long life, othersome short, 
liar answers: Good Nornir and well akin shape good 
lives, but those men who are weighed down with 
mishap, against them bad Nornir wield their might. 

16* Theii said Gangleri; What more wonders 
are there to be said of the Ash? Har says; Much 
is to be said thereof; an eagle sits in the boughs 
of the Ash, and he is wise in much; but between 
his eyne sits the hawk bight Vej> rfavlnir; the squir- 
rel bight Ratatoskr runs up and down along the 
Ash, and bears words of hate betwixt the eagle and 
NiShavgg; (the dragon) and beside four harts run 
amid the branches of the Ash and bite the buds, 
they bight thus Dainn, Dvalinn, Dunneir, Durafror; 


but so many worms are in 
that no tongue may tell, 

“Yggdrasil's ash 
beareth hardships 
more than men wit of. 


Hvergelmir with NiShavgg 
as is here said. 

The hart bites above, 
but at the side it rots, 
Ni&liavgg scores it beneath/’ 


and so again it is said. 

“More worms are lying Goinn and Moinn, 

under YggdrasiPs ash (They're Grafvitnir’s sons) 

than every silly ape thinks of; Grabakr and Grafiavllufrr. 

Ofnir and Svafnir , 
metliinks must for aye gnaw 
the boughs of the tree." 


Again it is said, that those Nornir who abide 
by Urfr’s spring draw every day water from the 
spring, and take the clay that lieth round the 
well, and sprinkle them up over the ash for that 


its boughs should not wither or rot; but that wa- 
ter is so holy that all things which come into the 
spring become as white as the skin hight shale, 
(skiall) which lieth within and cleavcth to an egg- 
shell. As is here said. 


An ash ken I besprent 
bight Yggdrasil's , 
high (stands) the holy tree, 
with white clay, 


Thence come the dewdrops 
that fall in the dales, 
green for aye stands it oer 
UrJ>r's wellspring. 


The dew that falls thence on the earth call 
men honey-fall and on it feed beeflys; fowl twain 


GYLFl’s MOCKING 


21 


are fed in Urfr’s spring they higlit Swans and from 
those fowl have come » the kind so higlit. 

17. Then said Gangleri; Mickle tidings cans’t 
thou to tell of heaven, what more lieadseats are 
there than (that) at Urf>rs spring? Har answers: 
Many famous homesteads are there, one is that 
called Elfheim, there dwell the folk higlit Light- 
elves, hut the Darkelves abide beneath in earth, 
and they are unlike in look, but much more un- 
like in deeds 5 the Lightelves are fairer than the 
sun to look on, but the Darkelves swarthier than 
pitch. There is also the stead which is called Brei- 
fablik and none fairer is there. There is also that 
higlit Glitnir, and it’s walls and pillars and posts 
are of red gold but it’s roof of silver. There is 
again the stead higlit Himinbiorg, that stands on 
heaven's edge at the bridge end where Bifraust 
toucheth heaven. There is beside a great stead 
bight Valaskialf, that stead hath Odinn, the Gods 
made it and thatched it with sheer silver, and there 
in that hall is HliSskialf the highseat thus higlit, 
and when Allfadir sitteth in that seat he seetli over 
the whole world. On the southern edge of heaven 
is the hall that is fairest of all and brighter than 
the sun Gimle higlit, it shall stand when both 
heaven and earth have passed away, and good and 


22 


GYLFl’fi MOCKING. 


righteous men shall live in that stead through all 


ages. So is it said in 

“A hall stands I wis, 
than the sun fairer, 
than gold Letter, 
in Gimle aloft; 


Vbluspa. 

There shall doughty 
men abide, 
and through all days 
bliss enjoy.” 


Then said Gangleri ; What guards this stead 
when Surtr’s fire burns heaven and earth? Har 
says: So it is said that there is a second heaven 
southward up above this heaven, and that heaven 
bight Andlangr; but the third heaven is again above 
this, and hight ViSblainn, and in that heaven we 
think this stead is, but we deem that the Light-* 
elves alone abide in it now. 


18. Then said Gangleri; Whence conies the 
wind? He is so strong that he rears great seas and 
fans fire, but strong though he be, yet may he not 
be seen, therefore is he wonderfully shapen. Then 
answers Har. That can I well tell thee; at the 
northern end of heaven sits a Giant Hrcesvelgr hight, 
he has an eagle’s feathers, but when he bouns him 
to flight, then arise the winds under his wings; 
here is it so said, 

Hraesvelgr hight from his pinions 

he who sits at heaven’s end they say the wind comes 

3 giant in eagle’s guise, all mankind over. 


G V LFl’s MOCKING. 


23 


19. Then said Gangleri ; Why skills it so 
much that summer should be hot, but winter cold? 
Har answers: Not thus would a wise man ask, 
for this all know to tell of, but if thou alone hast 
been so slowwitted as not to have heard it, then 
I will rather forgive, that thou shouldst once ask 
unwisely, than that thou shouldst go on longer 
a dolt in what thou oughtest to know. SvasuSr 
(SweetsuSr) liight he that is father of Summer, and 
he is of easy life so that from his warmth that 
which is mild is called sweet 5 but the father of 
winter has two names, Vindloni or Vindsvalr, he 
is Vasa J>ars son and all that kindred were grim 
and of icybreath, and winter keeps their mood. 

20, Then said Gangleri 5 Who are the Asa 
that men are bound to believe on? Then answers 
Har. Twelve are the godlike Asa. Then spake 
Jafnhar. Not less holy are the Asynia nor is their 
might less. Then spake frifi; Odinn is first and 
eldest of the Asa: he rules all things, and though 
the other Gods be mighty, yet they serve him all 
like as children a father. But Frigg is his wife, 
and she knows the weirds of men though she tells 
them not before; as it is here said that Odin’s self 
said to the As hight Loki, 


24 


GVLFl’S MOCKING. 


“Mad art thou Loki Weirdes all 

and reft of wit me thinks Frigg knoweth 

why stopp*st thou not Loki ? though she telleth them never.” 


Odinn liight Allfadir because he is the father 
of all Gods, he also hight Valfadir, because his 
sons by choice are all those who fall in fight, for 
them makes he ready Valhall and Vingolf, and there 
hight they champions (Einheriar). He also hight 
HangaguB or Haptagu®, FarmaguS, and beside he 
has been named in many ways while he was 
coming to king Geirrojar. 


“I am called Grimr, 
and Gangra&r, 

Herian, Hialmberi, 

f>eckr, 

fuo'r, Ufrr, 

Helblindi, liar;, 

Safrr, Svipall, 

Sann-»getall, 

Hertcitr, Hnikarr, 

Bileygr, Baleygr, 

Bavlverkr, Fiolnir, 

Grimnir, Glapsvi&r, (Fibl.svi&r). 


Si&havttr, Si&skeggr, 
Sigfav&r, Hniku&r, 

Allfav&r, Atrifrr, (Farmatyr), 
Oski, Orai, 

Jafnhar, Biflindi, 

Gavndler, Harbar&r, 

SviftuiiT, Svi&rir, 

Jalkr, Kialarr, YiJ urr, 
f>rdr, Yggr, fundr, 

Vakr, Skilvingr, 

Vafufrr, Hroptatyr, 

Gautr, Veratyr.” 


Then said Gangleri; Very many names have 
ye given him, and by my troth I wis that will 
be a mickle wise (man), who can here weigh and 
deem what chances happened to him for each of 
these names. Then answers Har: Much skill is 
needed rightly to find out that, but yet it is shor- 


GYLFl’s MOCKING. 


25 


test to tell thee, that most of these names have 
been given for the sake, that, as there are many 
branches of tongues in the world, so all peoples 
thought it was needful to turn his name into their 
tongue, that they might call on him and ask boons 
of him for themselves 5 but some chances of these 
names befell him in his wayfarings, as is said in 
old tales, and never mayest thou be called a wise 
man if thou shallt not be able to tell of those 
great tidings. 

21. Then said Gangleri; What are the names 
of the other Asa? What is their business, or what 
have they brought about? Har answers: forr is the 
foremost of them, he is called Asa]? orr or Okuforr, 
he is the strongest of all Gods and men ; he hath 
that realm bight fruSvangr, but his hall bight 
Bilskirnir, in that hall are five hundred and forty 

_ A 

floors, that is the greatest house which men have 
made. So is it said in Grimnismal. 

‘‘Five hundred floors 
and forty mo 

are in bowed Bilskirnir I trow; 
of those houses 
that roofed I know 
my son’s is most I wis.” 

for has two goats hight thus Tanngniostr 
and Tanngrisnir, and a car which he drives in, but 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


26 

the goats draw the car, wherefore he is called 
Okuforr. He has also three things of great price, 
one of them is the hammer Miollnir which the 
Rimegiants and Hillogres know when it is raised 
aloft, and that is no wonder, it has split many 
a skull of their fathers or friends: the second 
costly thing that he has is the best of strength 
belts, and when he girds it about him then waxes 
his godstrengtli one half ; but the third thing he 
has, in which is great worth, is his irongloves those 
he may not miss for his hammer’s haft: but none 
is so wise as to say all his great works, yet can 1 
tell thee so many tidings of him that hours might 
be whiled away ere all is said that I know. 

22 . Then said Gangleri; I wish to ask tidings 
of more Asa. Har says: The second son of Odinn 
is Balldr and of him it is good to say, he is the 
best and him all praise, he is so fair of face and 
so bright that it glistens from him, and there is a 
grass so white that it is likened to Balldr’s brow, 
that is of all grass the whitest, and thereafter 
mayst thou mark his fairness both in hair and body. 
He is wisest of the Asa and fairest spoken and 
mildest 5 and that nature is in him that none may 
withstand his doom 5 he abideth in the place hight 


GYLFl’s MOCKING. 


27 


BrefSablik, that is in heaven 5 in that stead may 
naught be that is unclean, as is here said. 

“Brei^Sablik bight In that land 

where Ballder hath where I wis there lictli 

for himself reared a hall; least loathliness.'* 

\ 

23. The third As is the one called NjorSr , 
lie dvvelleth in heaven in the place called Noatiin, 
he ruleth over the going of the wind and stilleth 
seas and (Ire; on him shall (men) call in seafaring 
and fishing: lie is so rich and wealthy that he can 
give broad lands and goods to those who call on 
him for them. He was born and bred in Vanaheim, 
but the Vanir gave him as an hostage to the Gods, 
and took instead for an Asahostage him hight 
Hoenir; and he it was that set the Gods and Vanir 
at one again. NjorSr has that woman to wife 
hight SkaSi daughter of fiazi the giant, SkaSi 
will have the abode that her father erewhile had, 
it is on some fells in the parts called J>rymheimr; 
but NjorSr will be near the sea ; they settled it at 
last in this wise, that they should be nine nights 
in frymheim and then three in Noatiin; now when 
NjorSr came back to Noatiin from the fells, then 
sang lie this, 

“I was sick of the fells. The wolfs howl 

I was not there long methought sounded ill 

flights only nine; after the swan’s song.** 


28 


GYLFl’s MOCKING. 


Then sang SkaSi this, 

“Sleep can I never he waketh me, 

in my Led on the strand as he comes from the sea, 

for the sea fowl’s cry, every morn, the mew.” 

Then fared SkaSi up to the fells and abode 
in frymheim; and she goes much on snowshoon, 
and bears a bow and shoots beasts 5 she higlit the 
snowslioe Goddess or Avndurdis. So it is said. 

“J>rymheimr higlit Bnt now Ska^i dwells in, 

where J>iazi abode the snowshoe bride good, 

he that mightiest Giant; her fathers old hall.” 

24. NiorSr in Noatiin begat afterward two 
children, a son higlit Freyr and a daughter Freyia, 
they were fair of face and mighty: Freyr is most 
famous of the Asa, he rules over rain and sun- 
shine and also the fruitfulness of the earth, and 
on him it is good to call for harvest and peace; 
and he also sways the wealth of men. But Freyia 
is most famous of the Asynia she has that bower 
in heaven higlit Folkvangar, and whithersoever she 
rideth to the battle, then hath she one half of the 
slain, but Odinn the other. As is here said 

“Folkvangr bight (ninth) half the slain she chooseth 

and there Freyia ruleth every day 

choice of seats in the hall. and half Odin hath.” 

Her hall is Sessrymnir it is great and fair; 
but when she fares abroad she drives cats twain 


GYLFI’S MOCKING. 


29 


and sits in a car; she lends an easy ear to the 
prayers of men, and from her name is that title 
that rich women are called Freyior; she likes well 
loveditties and on her it is good for lovers to call. 

25. Then said Gangleri; Great methinks are 
these Asa in themselves, nor is it wonderful that 
mickle craft follows you, ye who are able to scan 
the Gods, and know whence to ask your boons; 
but are there yet more Gods? Har answers. There 

V 

is beside the As higlit Tyr; he is the most daring 
and best of mood, and he sways much the victory 
in light; on him it is good for wrestlers to call. 
There is a saw that he is tyrstrong who is before 
other men and never yields; he is also so wise 
that it is said, he is tyrlearned who is wise. This 
is one mark of his daring, when the Asa beguiled 
Fenris-wolf to lay about him the fetter Gleipnir 
he trusted them not, that they would loose him, 
before they laid in his mouth Tyrs hand as a 
pledge; but when the Asa would not loose him 
then bit lie the handoifat the part now higlit wolfs 
joint: and Tyr is onehanded and not called a 
peacemaker among men. 

26. Bragi higlit one (As,) he is famous for 
wisdom and best in tongue-wit and cunning speech. 


30 


gylfi’s mocking. 


He knows most about song/ and from him it is 
that songcraft is named Bragr. And from his name 
we call those “braga” churl or wife, who have wit 
in words before other men and women. His wife 
bight Ij>unn she keeps in a chest the apples that 
the Gods must bite when they grow old, and then 
become they all young again, and so must it be 
all until the twilight of the Gods (Ragnaravk)* Then 
said Gangleri. Much indeed methinks have the Gods 
under the care and truth of Ifunn. Then said 
Har and laughed. They lay near a great risk once* 
I may be able to tell thee thereof, but thou shallt 
first hear the names of more Asa. 

27. Heimdallr bight one, he is called the 
white As, he is great and holy, him their son bare 
maidens nine, and all sisters; He also bight Hallin- 
skifi and Gullintanni his teeth were of gold, his 
horse hight Gulltoppr; he abidetli in the place 
bight Himinbiorg by Bifraust, he is warder of the 
Gods, and sitteth there at heaven’s end to keep the 
bridge against the Hillogres; he needeth less sleep 
than a bird, he seeth day and night alike an hun- 
dred miles from him, he heareth be it grass that 
groweth on earth, or wool on sheep and all things 
louder than these; he hath the horn hight Gioll* 


GYLFI’S MOCKING. 


31 


arid its blast is heard in all worlds; the head is 
called Heimdall’s sword; Thus is it here said 


There the God’s warder drinks 
in mirthful halls 
gladsome the good mead.*’ 


“Himinbiorg liight 
there where Heimdall 
they say rules the house; 


And again he says of himself in Heimdall's song, 


“child am I of maidens nine 
son am I of sisters nine’*. 


28. HavSr hight one As, lie is blind; very 
strong is he, but the Gods would wish that this As 
might never need to be named, because his handy- 
work will long be had in mind both by Gods 
and men. 

29. Vifarr hight one, the silent As; he hath 
a very thick shoe; he is next in strength to J>orr, 
on him the Gods have much trust in all straits. 

30. Ali or Vali hight one, son of Odin and 
Rindar; he is daring in fight and a very happy shot. 

31. Ullr hight one, son of Sif J>or’s stepson, 
he is so good a bowman, and so fast on his 
snowshoon, that none may strive with him; he is 
fair of face, and hath a warriors mien; on him it 
is good to call in single combat. 

32. Forseti hight the son of Balldr and Nanna 
Nep’s daughter, lie hath that hall in heaven hight 
Glitnir, and all that come to him with knotty 


32 


G YLl? l'S MOORING* 


lawsuits go all away set at one again, that is the 
best doomstead with Gods and men; so is it here 
said. 

“Glitnir hight a hall But Forseti ahideth 

with gold *tis stayed, there for ayO 

and silver thatcht the same; and stillctli all suits* 

33. He is besides told with the Asa whom 
some call the backbiter of the Asa, and spokesman 
of evil redes, and shame of all Gods and men; he 
that is named Loki or Loptr, son of Farbauti the 
Giant, his mother is Laufey or Nal, his brethren 
are Byleistr and Helblindi: Loki is free and fair 
of face, ill in temper and very fickle of mood ; he 
hath above all men that craft called sleight and 
cheateth in all things; full oft hath he brought the 
Asa into great straits and oft set them free by cun- 
ning redes. His wife hight Sygin, their son Nari 
or Narvi. 

34. Yet more children had Loki; Augrbof>a 
hight a witch in Jotunheim, with her gat Loki 
three children; the first was Fenriswolf, the second 
Jormungandr, that is MiSgardsworm , the third is 
Hel. But when the Gods wist that this kindred 
was being bred up in Jotunheim, and the Gods found 
ont by spaedom, that from this kindred much moan 

and 


CYLFl’6 MOCKING. 


33 


and mishap must arise Lo them ; and thought that 
from all of them much ill was to be looked for, 
first by the mother’s side and still worse by the 
father’s, then sent All fad i r some of the Gods thither 
to take the children and bring them to him: and 
when they came to him then cast he the worm 
into the deep sea that lieth about all lands; and 
the worm waxed so, that he lieth in the midst 
of the sea round all the earth and holdeth his tail 
with his teeth. He! he cast into Niflheim, and gave 
her power over nine worlds, that she should share 
all those abodes among the men that are sent to 
her, and these are they who die of sickness or eld : 
she hath there great domains, and her yardwalls 
are of strange height and her grates huge; EliidS- 
nir bight her hall, hunger her dish, starving her 
knife, Ganglati her thrall Ganglot her maid, (they 
can scarce creep for sloth) a beetling cliff is the 
threshold of her entry, care her bed, burning 
bale the hanging of her hall; she is half blue 
and half the hue of flesh, therefore is she easy to 
know, and (beside) very stern and grim. 

The wolf the Asa bred up at home, and Tyr 
alone had the daring to go to him and give him 
meat; but when the Gods saw how much he waxed 

3 


Gylfi } s Mocking. 


34 


G YLFI’S MOCKING. 


each clay, and all spells said he must be raised up 
to scathe them, then took the Asa this rede, they 
made a fetter very strong which they called Lae- 
fing; and bare it to the wolf, and bade him 
try his strength on the fetter; but it seemed to 
the wolf not above his strength so he let them do 
with him as they listed; the first time the wolf 
spurned against (it) the fetter broke, so was he 
loosed from Lsejfng. Next made the Asa another 
fetter half as strong again, which they called Dromi, 
and hade the wolf prove this fetter, and told him 
he must be very famous for strength if such great 
smilhsvvork might not hold him; Now the wolf 
thought this fetter was very strong, but at the 
same time that bis strength had waxed since lie 
broke Lading; and it came into his mind that he 
must run risks if he would be famous, so he let 
them lay the fetter on him; and when the Asa 
told him they were ready, then the wolf shook 
himself, spurned against and dashed the fetter on 
the earth, so that the broken bits flew far; thus 
freed he himself from Dromi, and it has been 
since held as a saw to say “loose out of Laefing,” 
or “dash out of Dromi,” when any thing is pas- 
sing hard. After that the Asa were afraid they 
should never get the wolf bound; then sent All- 




GYLFI’S MOCKING, 


35 


fadir a youth who is named Skirnir, Freyr’s messen- 
ger, downwards into Swartelfheim to certain dwar- 
ves, and let there be wrought the fetter hight 
Gleipnir; it was made of six things, footfall of 
cat, beard of woman, root of stone, sinew of bear, 
breath of fish, and spittle of bird; and though thou 
knewest not these tidings aforetime, yet may’st thou 
speedily find a sure proof that lies are not told 
thee; thou must have seen that a woman has no 
beard; that there is no din when the cat leaps, 
nor any roots under stones, and by my troth I 
wis all that I have told thee is just as true, though 
there be some things that thou canst not prove. 
Then said Gangleri ; This may I skill to be true at 
sight, these things can I see which thou hast taken 
for a proof; but how was the fetter smithied? 
Har answers; That can I well say, the fetter was 
smooth and soft as a silkenstring, and so trusty and 
strong as thou shallt now hear. When the fetter 
was brought to the Asa they thanked their mes- 
senger well for his pains; then fared they out to 
the water hight Amsvartner, to the island that is 
called Lyngvi, and called the wolf to go along with 
them showed him the silkenband and bade him 
break it, and quoth it was somewhat tougher than 
it might look to be for the sake of it’s thinness; 


30 


GYLF1-S MOCKING. 


then they handed it one to the other and tryed 
its strength with their hands, and broke it not 5 
“but, quoth they, the wolf must be able to snap it.” 
Then answers the wolf; “As for this thread it seems 
to me I can get no fame though 1 break asunder 
so limber a band, but an it be made with craft 
and guile, little though it look that band conies 
not on my feet.” Then said t he Asa that he must 
he able to snap asunder in a trice a limp silkenband, 
he who had before burst great iron fetters. “But if 
thou’rt unable to break this band thou canst never 
be able to cause* the Gods fear, and we will loose 
thee straitway.” The wolf answers: “If ye bind me 
so that I cannot get loose, ye would behave so that 
it would be late ere I had to thank you for your 
help; loath am I to let this band be laid on me, 
but rather than ye should doubt my bravery, Jet 
some one of you lay his hand in my mouth for 
a pledge that this is done without falsehood.” But 
each As looked at the other, and thought now there 
was a choice of two evils; nor would any throw 
away his hand, before Tyr put forth his right hand 
and lays it in the wolfs mouth. But when the 
wolf spurned the band grew more stiff and the 
harder he strained the tighter it got; then laughed 
all save Tyr, he lost his hand; when the Asa saw 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


37 


that the wolf was fully bound, they took the chain 
bight Gelgia, which was fixed to the fetter, and 
drew it through a great rock higlit Gioll, and 
fastened the rock deep down in the earth: then 
took they a mickle stone bight J>viti, and drove it 
still deeper into the earth, and used this stone for 
a holdfast. The wolf gaped amain and twisted 
him about much and wished to bite them,* they 
thrust into his mouth a certain sword, the hilt stuck 
in his nether jaw but the point in his upper, that 
is his gag; he howls fiercely and slaver runs out 
of his mouth, that is the river bight Von: there lieth 
he till the twilight of the Gods. Then said Gangleri; 
Right ill children of his own had Loki; and yet 
all that kindred are strong and mighty; but why 
slew not the Asa the wolf when ill was to be look- 
ed for from him? Har answers. The Gods set such 
store on their holiness and that sacred place, that 
they would not stain them with the blood of the 
wolf, though their spaedom says he must become 
the bane of Odin. 

35. Then said Gangleri j Which are the Asynia ? 
Har answers: Frigg is first, she has the bower bight 
Fensalir, and it is right lordly. The second is Saga, 
she dwells at Saukqvabeck and that is a mickle 
homestead. The third is Fir she is the best leech. 


38 


C Y L F I r S HI OC KING 


The fourth is Gefiun, she is a maid and her hand- 
maidens are all they who die maids. The fifth is 
Fulla, she is still a maid, and fares loosehaired 
with a £oldband about her head, she bears Frig’s 

O 7 DD 

chest, and keeps her shoon, and knows her hidden 
redes. Freyia is ranked with Frigg, she is wedded 
to the man hight OSr; their daughter higlit H noss, 
so fair is she, that from her name that which is 
fair and winsome is called Hnoss. OSr has fared 
abroad a far way, but Freyia greets for him and 
her tears are red gold. Freyia hath many names 
and the reason of this is, that she gave herself 
many names as she fared through unknown peoples 
in search of OSr: she hight Mardavll and Horn, 
Gefn (and) Syr. Freyia hath the necklace Brfsi'ngrj 
she is called Vanadfs. Seventh is Sicjfn it liketh 
her much to turn the mood af men, woman and 
man alike, to love; from her name a wooer is cal- 
led Siafni.” Eighth is Loi n , she is so mild and 
good to call on, that she gets leave from Allfadir 
or Frigg to bring men and women together, though 
that be forbidden or under a ban before; for this 
is “love” called after her name, and so also that 
which is much “loved” by men. Ninth is Vbr or 
Var, she listeth to the oaths of men, and the troth 
that men and women plight between one another f 


GYL'FTs mocking. 


39 


therefore those vows hight “varar,’’ and she takes 
vengeance on those who break them. Vor is wise 
and searching, so that no thing may escape her; 
it is a saw that a woman becomes “var” (ware) of 
what she becomes wise. Tenth is Syn, she keeps 
the door in the hall and locks (it) against those 
who should not go in; and in trials she is set over 
those suits, in which (any) man forswears himself; 
whence is the saw that “syn is set against it’’ when 
a man denies aught. Eleventh is Hlfn she is set 
to watch over those men whom Frigg will fore- 
warn against any peril; thence is the saw, that 
he “hleinir” who is forewarned. Twelfth is Snotra, 
she is wise and courtly, from her name men and 
women that are wise are called Snotr. Thirteenth 
(is) Gna, her sendeth Frigg into many worlds on 
her errands; she hath the horse that runneth 
through air and water hight Hofvarpnir; it fell 
once on a time as she drove, certain Vanir saw 
her car in the lift; then quoth one, 

“What flyetli there, 
what fareth there, 
or in the lift glidcth?” 

She answers, 

“I fly not, on Hofvarpnir, 

though I fare whom Hamskerpir 

and glide through tlx? lift gat with Gfirftrofya.** 




40 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


From Gna’s name it is said that what fares 
high (in air) “gnceli.” Sol and Bil are told with 
the Asynia, but of their nature it has been said 
before. 

36. I'hcre are beside, the others whose duty 
it is to serve in Valhall, bear drink and tend the 
boardgear and alehorns; so are they named in 
Grimnismal. 

“Hrist aud Mist will I Hilldr and Jhui&r, 

should hear me the horn, Hlock and Herfiotur, 

Skeggiold and Skavgul , Gavll and Geirahav^, 

Handgrip* and RadgricT » 
and Reginleif; 

They bear the champions ale/’ 

These hight Valkvriur: them sendeth Odin to 
every fight, they choose those men that are fey , 
and sway the victory. GuSr and Rota, and t lie 
youngest Norna, bight Skulld, ride also to choose 
the slain and turn the battle. Jord (earth) forr's 
mother, and Rindr Vala’s mother are told with the 
Asynia. 

37. Gymir hight a man, and his wife AvrboSa, 
she was of the Hillogres k in j their daughter is 
GerSr, who is fairest of all women. There was a 
day when Freyr had gone into Hliftskialf and saw 
over all worlds; but as he looked toward the north 


GYLFI’S MOCKING. 


41 


parts, then saw he in an hamlet a mickle and fail- 
house, and to this house went a woman, and as she 
lifted her hand and opened the wicket before her, 
it glistened from her hands both in the sky and 
water, and all worlds were bright from her: and 
then his great pride, in that he had sat him in 
that holy seat, was so ywroken on him that he went 
away full of grief. Now when he came home, he 
spake not, neither slept he nor drank; and none 
dared to crave words of him: then let Niordr be 
called to him Skirnir, the youth who waits on 
Freyr, and begged him to go to Freyr and pray 
him to speak, and ask him with whom he was so 
wrath that he spake not to men. But Skirnir quoth 

he would go, though he was loath; and said ill 

# 

words were to be looked for from him. Now when 
he was come to Freyr, he asked why Freyr was 
so close and spake not with men. Then answers 
Freyr and said that he had seen a fair woman, 
and for her sake was he so woeful that he could 
not live longer if he might not have her: “and 
now shall t thou go and ask her hand for me, and 
have her home hither whether her father will or 
no, and 1 will well repay thee.” Then answers 
Skirnir, and says that he will fare forth on his 
errand, but Freyr shall give him his sword; that 


I 


4 2 GYLFI’S MOCKING. 

is so good a sword that it wields itself in light; 

and Freyr did not let this fall short, but gave him 

the sword. Then fared Skirnir and begged the 

woman for him, and got her word and nine nights 

after should she come to the isle hight Barey, 

and go then to the wedding with Freyr. Now when 

Skirnir told Freyr how he had sped, then quoth he 

“Long is one night Often one month 

long are two nights seemed to me less, 

how can I last out three; than this half night of love.” 

This is the reason that Freyr was so weapon- 
less when he fought with Beli, and slew him with 
a hart’s horn. Then said Gangleri; Great wonder 
it is that such a lord as Freyr is, would give away 
a sword so that he had not another as good every 
whit; a very great loss was that to him when he 
fought with him hight Beli, and by my troth I wis 
lie must then have repented him of that gift. Then 
answers Har: Little matter was that when he and 
Beli met, Freyr could have slain him with his hand ; 
(but) the time shall come when Freyr will think 
himself in a worse plight, as he misses his sword, 
when the sons of Muspell fare forth to the light. 

38. Then said Gangleri ; Thou sayest that all 
those men, that have fallen in fight from the be- 
ginning of the world, are now come to Odin in 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


43 


Valhall; what has he to give them to eat? methinks 
there should be there a very great throng. Then 
answers Har: True it is what thou sayest, a very 
great throng is there, but many more shall yet 
come, (thither) and still will it be thought too little 
when the wolf cometh; but never is there so great 
a band of men in Valhall , that the flesh of the 
boar that high t Saerfmnir is not left over and above 
to them; he is sodden every day and whole again 
at even, but this asking that thou now askest, me- 
thinks few would be so wise as to be able to tell 
thee the truth hereof: Andhrimnir bight the cook 
but Eldhrimnir the kettle; so is it here said. 

** Andhrimnir serveth best of flesh; 

in Eldhrimnir but that few wot of, 

Srehrimnir sodden, on what the champions feed.” 

Then said Gangleri; Has Odinn the same food 
as the champions. Har answers: The meat that 
stands on his board he gives to two wolves which 
he hath, higlit so Geri and Freki, and he needs 
no meat, wine is to him both meat and drink; as 
is here said. 

“Geri and Freki, But with wine only, 

sates the wartamer lordly in arms, 

the famous Father of hosts. Odinn for aye lives.” 

Ravens twain sit on his shoulders and say 
into his ear all tidings that they see or hear; they 


44 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


bight thus, Huginn and Muninn: (mind and me- 
mory) them sendeth he at dawn to fly over the 
whole world, and they come back at breakfast tide; 
thereby becomes lie wise in many tidings; for this 
call men him the Raven’s God (Hrafna-GuS) as is 
here said. 

“Huginn and Muninn, It grieves me for Huginn 

fly every day lest lie should not come bach, 

earth’s fields over; hut I look more for Muninn.” 

39. Then said Gangleri; What have the cham- 
pions to drink which fills them as bountifully as 
their meat? Or is water there drunken? Then an- 
swers Har; Wondrously now askest thou, as if 
Allfadir would bid to him kings and carls and 
other great men, and would give them water to 
drink; and by my troth I wis many of these come 
to V al hall who would think they bought their wa- 
terdrink dear, if there were not better fare to be 
had there at will: they who had before borne 

* J 

wounds and toil unto death; other tidings can I 
tell thee thereof, the shegoat bight HeiSriin stands 
up alove Valhall, and bites the buds off the bran- 
ches of tree that is very famous bight LeraS; but 
out of her teats runs mead, so that she fills a stoop 
every day, which is so great that all the champions 

arc full-drunken out of it. Then said Gaugleri; 

. & 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


45 


A mighty useful goat is she to them, (and) a right 
brave tree must that be that she bites off. Then said 
Har: Still worthier of mark is the hart Eikfyrni 
who stands over Valhall and bites off the boughs 
of this tree, but from his horns fall so many drops, 
that they come down into Hvenjelmir, and thence 
fall the rivers so hight; SfS, Vi8, Sekinn, Ekinn, 
Svol, Gunnfro, Fiorm , Fimbulful, Gipul, Gopnl 
Gomul, Geirvimul; these run about the Asa abodes. 
These are also named,* fyn, Yin, foil. Boll, GraS, 
Gunnfrainn, Nyt, Navt, Navnn, Ilronn, Vina, 
Vegsvinn, fioSnuma. 

40. Then said Gangleri ; These are wondrous 
tidings, which thou now sayest; a very great house 
must Valhall be, anil a great throng must there 
often be before the door? Then answers Har; Why 
askest thou not how many doors there are in Val- 
hall, or how great? If thou hearest that said, then 
inightest thou say that it is wonderful if he who 
will may not go out and in; but sooth to say it 
is not less roomy as to its shape inside, than as 
to its ingoing; of this mightest thou hear in 
Grimnismal. 

“Five hundred doors eight hundred champions 

and forty mo go at once through one door, 

are there in Valhall I trow; when they fare forth to war 

with the wolf.” 


46 


GVLFl’S MOCKING. 


41. Then said Gangleri; A mighty band of 
men must there be in Valhall, (and) so by my 
troth I wis that Odinn is a very great Lord when 
he steers such a mickle host 5 but what is the pass- 
time of the champions, when they drink not? liar 
answers; Every day when they have clothed them, 
they put on their arms, and go out into the yard 
and fight and fell each other; that is their play: 
and when it looks toward mealtime, then ride they 
home to Valhall and sit down to drink; so is it 
here said 

“All the champions, the slain they choose, 

Odin’s town within, and ride from the fray; 

are hewn at each day; then sit they in friendship together.” 

But that thou sayest is true, great is Odinn 
in himself; many proofs are found of this; so is 
it here said in the very words of the Asa. 

“Yggdrasil’s ash Odin of Asa, 

it is first of trees, but of steeds Sleipnir, 

but Skifrbla&nir of ships; Bifraust of bridges; 

But Bragi of bards, 

Habrok of hawks, 
but of hounds Garmr.” 

42. Then said Gangleri; Who hath that horse 
Sleipnir? or what is there to say of him? Har 
answers: Thou hast no skill of Sleipnir, nor kno- 
west thou by what chance he came; but it must 


GYLFI’S MOCKING. 


47 


seem to thee worth to hear tell of. Once on a 
time when the town of the Gods was abuilding, 
when the Gods had set MrSgarS and made Valhall; 
there came a certain smith, and bid to make them 
a burg in three half-years so good that it should 
be true and safe against the Rimegiants and 
Hillogres, though they should come in by MiSgarS. 
But he asked for his hire, that he should have 
Freyia for his own, and (beside) he would have 
the Sun and Moon. Then went the Asa to talk, 
and took their rede; and the bargain was made 
with the smith that he should have what he asked, 
if he could get the burg done in one winter, but 
the first summerday if aught of the burg was 
undone, then his bargain should be off; (and be- 
side) he should get help from no man toward the 
work. And when they told him these terms, then 
prayed he them to give him leave, that he might 
have help of his horse who Svafilfori hight; and 
by Loki’s rede that was also granted to him. He 
set to work the first day of winter to make the 
burg, but by night he wont to draw stone for it 
with his horse; but it seemed a great wonder to 
the Asa how great stones that horse drew, and the 
horse did one half more of the toilsome work than 
the smith; but to their bargain there was strong 


48 


GVLFI’S MOCKING. 


witness and much swearing, for that it seemed not 
safe to the giant to be among the Asa truceless 

O O 

if forr came home; but then he was faring east- 
ward to fight Trolls. Now as the winter went by 
the burg-building was far on, and it was so high 
and strong that it could in no wise betaken; but 
when there were yet two or three days to sum- 
mer (the work) was come almost to the burggate. 
Then sat the Gods on their doomstools and took 
rede, and asked each other, who had given the rede 
to give Freyia away in Jotunheim, or so spoil the 
lift and heaven, as to take thence Sun and Moon, 
and give them to the giant; and all were of one 
voice that this rede he must have given, who gi- 
veth most ill redes, Loki Laufev’s son, and said he 
was worthy an ill death if he could not hit upon 
some rede, so that the smith might be off his bar- 
gain; and they were just about to lay hands on 
Loki. But as he became then afraid he sware 
an oath that he would so bring things about, that 
the smith should lose his wages whatever it cost 
him. And the same even when the smith drove 
out after stone with the horse Svafilfori, there ran 
out of a wood a mare to the horse and neighed 
at him l but when the steed knew what kind of 
horse that was, then he grew mad and burst asunder 

the 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


49 


the rope, and ran to the mare, and she away 
to the wood; and the smith after them, and will 
catch his horse; but these horses ran all night, and 
the smith tarried there the night, and afterward at 
dawn so much was not smithied as had been wont 
before. And when the smith sees that it will not 
bo ended with the work, then falls he into the giant- 
mood. But when the Asa saw surely that it was 
a hillogre that had come in thither, they spared 
not for their oaths, but called on f>orr; and 
quick as thought came lie, (and) next of all lift- 
ed the hammer Miollnir aloft, and so paid the 
smith’s hire, and not with the Sun and Moon; but 
forbade him even to dwell in Jotunheim, and that 
was easily (done) by the first blow that broke his 
skull into small bits, and sent him beneath under 
Niflhel. But Loki had run such a race with Sva- 
filfori, that sometime after he bare a foal, it was 
gray and had eight feet, and that is the best horse 
with Gods and men; so is it said in Voluspa. 


“Then went the powers all 
to their stools i’ the rack, 
Gods right-holy, 
and of that took rede, 
who had the lift all 
with guile blended, 
or to the giant kin 
O^Tr’s may given? 

Gjrlfi's Mocking. 


Gone were then oaths, 
words and swearing, 
all speech of might 
that past between them; 
Jorr alone wrought this, 
swollen with anger, 
seldom sits he still 
when he hears the like talktof. 

4 


50 


CYLFl'S MOCKING. 


43. Then said Gangleri; What is (there) to 
say of SkfSblaSnir, that (you say) is best of ships? 
is there not a ship even as good as she or even 
as great? Har answers: SkiSblaSnir is best of ships, 
and made with most cunning, but Naglfar is the 
greatest ship, that is in Muspell. Some Dwarves 
sons of Ivaldi made Ski<5bla<5nir , and gave Freyr 
the ship; she is so great that all the Asa with their 
weapons and wargear may find room on board her, 
and as soon as the sail is set she has a fair wind 
whither she shall go; and when there is no need 
of faring on the sea in her, she is made of so. many 
things and with so much craft, that he (Freyr) may 
fold her together like a cloth and keep her in his bag. 

44. Then said Gangleri; A good ship is Ski'ft- 
blaSnir, but many cunning spells must have been 
had to her, ere she was so made. Has forr ever 
fared any whither, so that he has found against him 
aught so strong or mighty, that it has been an over- 
match for him either for the sake of strength or 
cunning spells? Then said liar: Few men I wis 
can tell of this, and yet it hath many a time fared 
hard with him; but though it hath been so that 
any thing hath been so strong or stark that £orr 
has not gotten the mastery, there is no need to 
speak thereof; for that there are many proofs of 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


51 


this, and for that all are bound to trow that forr is 
mightiest. Then said Gangleri,* It looks to me as if 
I had askt you of a thing that none (of you) is able 
to tell of. Then spake Jafnhar: We have heard 
say of some chances, which seem to us past belief 
that they should be true, but here must sit one near ; 
who will know how to say sooth tidings hereof, 
and thou mayest not believe of him that he will lye 
now the first time who never lyed before. Then 
said Gangleri; Here will I stand and listen if any 
answer be given to these words; but otherwise I 

call on you to be overcome, if ye cannot tell me 

$ 

what 1 ask. Then spake friS'i: Easy is it to see 
that he will know these tidings, though it thinketh 
us not fair to speak of them, but it is thine to 
hold thy peace thereof. The beginning of this story 
is, that Okuforr fared forth with his hegoats and 
car, and with him the As who is called Loki; they 
came at even to an husband, and get there a night’s 
lodging, and when even was come f>orr took his 
hegoats and killed them both, and after that, they 
were (lain and borne to the kettle; but when it 
(the flesh) was sodden, then Porr and his fellow 
sat them down to supper. forr bade to meat with 
him the husband and his wife and their children, 
the man’s son bight ^ialfi, but the daughter Ravsqva. 


52 


gylfTs mocking. 


Then laid ^orr the goatskins away from the fire, 
and told the husband and his household they should 
cast the bones into the goatskins. fialfi the son 
of the husband took hold on the thigh of the goat, 
and struck it with his knife and broke it for the 
marrow, forr tarried there the night, but at peep 
of dawn before day he arose and clothed him , took 
his hammer Miollnir and lifted it, and hallowed 

I 

the goatskins; then stood up the goats, and one of 
them was halt in one of it’s hindfeet: that ]>6rr 
found (out), and said that the husband or some of 
bis folk could not have dealt skillfully with the 
leg of the goat, (for) he knew the thigh was brok- 
en. It needeth not to say much, for all may 
know, how frightened the husband must have been 
when he saw that porr let his brows sink down 
over his eyes, but what he saw of the eyes, made 
him think he must fall down at the si^ht alone: 
lie (torr) clutched the haft of his hammer with 
his hands, so that the knuckles whitened; but the 
husband did what was to be looked for, so that all 
the household cried out amain, begged for peace and 
bade for an atonement all they had. But when he 
saw their fear, then his wrath went from him and 
he was softened, and took from them for ransom 
their children Jialii and Ravskva, and they were 


4 


GYLFl’S MOCKING* 


53 


thus made fore’s bond-servants and they follow him 
always since. 

45. He left after this his goats there, and 
went on his way eastward into Jdtunheim and all 
to the sea, and then fared he on over that the 
deep sea; but when he came to land then went he 
up and with him, Loki and fialli and Ravsqva; 
when they had gone a little way, there was before 
them a great wood, and they went (through it) all 
day till dark, fialfi was of all men fleetest of foot, 
he bare forr’s bag; but the wood was not a good 
place for food. When it was dark, they spied 
about them for a night’s lodging, and found before 
them a hall very great, the door was at one end, 
and as broad as the hall; there they looked them 
out a place to sleep in* But about midnight there 
was a great landquake, and the earth went from 
under them with a slip, and the house shook; then 
stood forr up and called on his fellows, and they 
spied about, and found an offhouse at the right 
hand in the midst of the hall, and went thither, 
forr sat him in the doorway, but the others they 
were within away from him and were afeard; but 
forr held his hammer’s haft and thought to guard 
him; then heard they a mighty groaning and roar- 
ing. But when the dawn came, then went forr 


54 


GYLFI’S MOCKING, 


out, and saw where a man lay close to him in the 
wood, and he was not little; he slept and snored 
stoutly; then forr thought he had found out what 
noise it was they had heard overnight, he spanned 
round him his strengthbelt, and his Asmight waxed; 
but in the mean while the man woke, and stood 
strait up, and then it is said forr forbore at once 
to smite him with the hammer, and asked him his 
name; but he (the man) called himself Skrymir. 
“But I need not, said he, to ask thee thy name, I 
know thou art Asaforr; but whither hast thou drawn 
away my glove?” Then Skrymir raught out li is 
hand and took up his glove: (and) then sees forr 
that was what he had taken overnight for a hall, 
but the offhouse, that was the thumb of the glove. 
Skrymir asked, if forr would have his fellowship, 
and forr said yea to this; then took Skrymir and 
loosed his wallet, and began to eat his breakfast, 
but £orr in another place and his fellows. Skrymir 
then bade they should lay their store of meat to- 
gether, and forr said yea; then bound Skrymir all 
their meat in one bag, and laid it on his back; 
he went before them all the day through, and took 
very great strides; but afterward at even Skrymir 
looked out for them a night’s lodging under a great 
oak. Then said Skrymir to forr that he will lay 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


55 


him down to sleep, “but take ye the wallet and 
make ready your supper.” Then next slumbered 
Skrymir and snored fast, but fdrr took the wallet 

•j 

and shall loose it; but so must it be said, though 
it may seem past belief, that he could get no knot 
loosed, nor stirred one end of the strings so that 
it was looser llian before: and when he saw there 
was no thrift in this work, then became he wrath, 
grasped then Miollnir with two hands, and stepped 
with one foot forward thither where Skrymnir lay, 
and dashed it (the hammer) against his head; but 
Skrymir wakes and asks whether any leaf fell on 
his head, and whether they had supped, and were 
ready to sleep? J>orr answers, they were just going 
to sleep. They went then under another oak, and 
sooth to say there was no fearless sleeping. But at 
midnight when J>orr hears that Skrymnir snores 
and sleeps fast, so that it thunders in the wood; 
then stands he up and goeth to him, clutches the 
hammer tight and hard, and dashes it down on the 
middle of his crown; he knows that the head of 
the hammer sank deep into his skull. But just 
then Skrymir wakes and said. “What is’t now, fell 
an acorn on my head? Or what’s the news with 
thee Jorr?” But forr went away hastily, and 
answers that he was just then newly awaked, (and) 


56 


GYLFl'S MOCKING* 


said it was then midnight, and still time to sleep. 
Then forr made up his mind, if he should come 
to be able to strike him the third blow, that he 
should never see him more: he lies now and watch- 
es if Skrymir slept fast; but a little before day 
then hears he that Skrymir must have slumbered; 
then stands he up and runs to him, grasps the 
hammer with all his strength, and dashes it on the 
cheek that he saw upmost; then sinks the ham- 
mer up to the haft. But Skrymir sat up and strok- 
ed his cheek and said. c ‘Be there any birds sitting 
in the tree over me? Methought as I woke some 
moss from the branches fell on my head : what, are 
you awake forr! It must be time to stand up and 
clothe oness self: but ye have not now a long way 
before you to the burg that is called UtgarS. 
I have heard you whispering between yourselves, 
that I was not a little man in growth, but ye 
shall see there greater men if ye come into UtganS. 
Now will I give you a wholesome rede, do not 
make too much of yourselves, not well would the 
thanes of UtgarS’s Loki brook the boasting of such 
mannikins; otherwise turn about, and that I wis 
were the best way ye could take; but an ye will 
fare forward, go strait on eastward, but 1 have now 
my path northward to those fells which ye may 


GYLFl’s MOCKING. 


57 


now see.” Skrymir takes the wallet, and casts it 
on his back, and turns thwart away from them 
into the wood; and it is not said that the Asa 
prayed to fall on him again in health. 

46. forr fared forward on his way and his 
fellows (with him), and went on till mid day; then 
saw they a burg stand on some vales and set their 
necks on their backs behind them, ere they got to 
see up over (it). They go to the burg, and there 
was a grating before the gate and fast locked: forr 
went to the grating and could not get it unlocked, 
but as they strove to come into the burg, they 
crept at last through the bars, and so came in: 
then saw they a great hall and went thither; the 
door was open, then went they in, and saw much 
folk on two benches, and the most hugely great; 
next straitway come they before the king UtgarS's 
Loki and hailed him, but he looked slowly on them, 
and smiled scornfully and showed his teeth, and 
said. “It is late to ask tidings of a long way, or 
if it be otherwise than I think, that this stripling 
thrall here is Okuforr? but thou may’st be taller than 
thou look’st to me; or what are the feats thou and 
thy fellows think yourselves skilled in? None shall be 
here with us who kens not some trick or cunning 
before the most of men.” Then says he that went 


58 


CYLFl’S MOCKING# 


last, liight Loki. “I ken a feat which I am quite 
ready to prove ; that there is no one here with- 
in, who shall eat his meat swifter than I.” Then 
said UtgarS’s Loki. “That is a feat (indeed) if thou 
keepest thy word, and it shall be tried forth with.” 
(So he) called towards the farther end of the bench, 
that he bight Logi shall come forth on the floor 
and try his (strength) against Loki. Then was ta- 
ken a trough and borne in on the hallfloor and 
filled with flesh: Loki sat him at one end but Logi 
at the other, and each of the twain eat as fast as 
he could, and they met in the midst of the trough; 
then had Loki eaten the flesh all off the bones, but 
Logi had both eaten all the flesh, and the bones 
and the trough beside: and now seemed it to all 
as if Loki had lost the game. Then asked UfgarS’s 
Loki; “What game that young man yonder could ?” 
But fialfi says he will try to run a race with any- 
one whom UfgarS’s Loki brought forward. Then 
UtgarS’s Loki says that is a good feat, and quoth 
besides, it were to be hoped he was very ready in 
swiftness if he would win this game; but he would 
take care this should soon be tried. Then stands up 
UtgarS's Loki, and goes out, and there was good 
ground for running along the flat vale. Then called 
to him Utgavft’s Loki a serving-lad who is named Hugi 


GYLVl’S MOCKING. 


59 


and bade him run a match with fialfi. Then take 
they the first heat, and Hugi is so much ahead that 
he turns back to meet him at the goal: then said 
Utgar<5’s Loki: “Thou needest fialfi! to lay thee more 
forward an thou willt win the game; but yet, sooth 
it is, there hath not methinks come hither a man 
swifter of foot than this.” Then] take they again a se- 
cond heat, and when Hugi is come to the goal and 
turns him about, there was a long spearthrow to 
f>ialfi. Then said UtgarSs Loki: “Well methinks 
has thy heat been run; though I trow not now 
that he wins the game; but now shall it be proved 
as they run the third heat.” Then take they yet 
one heat, but when Hugi is come to the goal and 
turns round, then fialfi is not come to the midst 
of the course: then say all that this game has been 
enough tried. Then UtgarS’s Loki asks forr, what 
those feats may be which he would be willing to 
show before them, answering to the tales men had 
made of his great works. Then said forr that he 
will rather begin a drinking-bout with any man. 
UtgarS’s Loki says that may well be, and goeth 
into the hall and calls his cupbearer, bids him 
take the horn of harm that his thanes are wont to 
drink of. Then strait way comes forth the cupbearer 
with the horn and gives it into forrs hand. Then 


60 


G V L F I’S MOCKING. 


said UtgarS’s Loki: ‘‘Of this horn it is thought well- 
drunken, if it goes off in one draught, though some 
men drink it off in two, but no one is so little a 
man in his drink that it goes not off in three.” 

forr looks at the horn, and it seems not mickle, 

though it be rather long, but he is much athirst: 
(so) he takes and drinks, and swills very much, 

and thinks it shall not need to bend oftener than 

once over the horn; but when he was tired of the 
tiling and set down the horn, and sees how it went 
with the drink, it seems to him hard to tell whe- 
ther it were now any lower in the horn than before. 
Then said UtgarS’s Loki; “Tis well drunken and 
(yet) not much, I would not have believed,* had it 
been told me, that Asaforr could not have drunk 
a greater draught; but I wis thou must wish to drain 
it off at the second drink/’ forr answers naught, 
sets the horn to his mouth, and thinks now he shall 
drink a greater draught, and drinks deep as he was 
wont; and yet sees that the tip of the horn will 
not go up so much as he likes, and when he took 
the horn from his mouth, it seems to him now as 
if he had drank less than the first time, but the 
horn could now be borne without spilling. Then 
said UtgarS’s Loki: “How now forr! thou must not 
spare thyself more in a drink than befits thy skill; 


GYLFl’s MOCKING. 


61 


so it seems to me, if thou shallt now drink off the 
horn the third drink, thou must strive to make this 
most of all: but never willt thou be called among 
us here so great a man as the Asa say, if thou 
makest not more of thyself in other games than it 
seems to me will be (the case) in this.” Then was 
forr wrath, sets the horn to his mouth, and drinks 
amain the best he can, and held to the drink as 
long as might be; but when he saw into the horn, 
now at last some small change had come upon it; 
and then he gives up the horn, and will drink no 
more. Then said Utgari5’s Loki. “Easy to see is it 
now, that thy might is not so mickle as we thought ; 
but willt thou try more games? It may be seen 
thou takest no gain away with you hence.” J>orr 
answers; “I will try more games yet, but it would 
seem wondrous to me when I was at home with 
the Asa, if such draughts were called so little; but 
what game willt thou now bid me’’’ Then answers 
Utgar'S’s Loki: “That do young lads here, which is 
of little mark to think of, they lift up from the 
earth my cat; but I could not dare to talk of such 
a. thing to Asaforr, if Iliad not first seen that thou 
art much less in thyself than I thought.” Then next, 
sprang forth on the hallfloor a gray cat and a very great 
one; but forr went up to him and took him beneath 


62 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


under* the middle of the belly with his hand, and 
would lift him up, but the cat bent his back just 
as forr raised his hands; but when Jorr had got 
them as high as ever he could, then the cat lifted 
up one foot, and forr did not carry this game 
farther. Then said UtgarS’s Loki: “So fared this 
game as I thought, the cat is very mickle, but Jorr 
is low and little by the great men that are here with 
us.” Then said forr: “So little as ye call me, let 
any one of you now come hither and wrestle with 
me, now am I wrath.” “Then answers UtgarS’s Loki, 
and looked about on the benches and, said: “I see 
not the man here within, who would not think it 

a trifle to wrestle with thee;” and again he said 

“Let me see first, call me hither the carlin my 
nurse Elli, and let forr wrestle with her if he will, 

she has felled men who have seemed to me not less 

strong than forr is.” Then next came into the hall 
an old carlin: then UtgarS's Loki said that she 
shall take hold on Asaforr. The tale is not long: 
so fared the grapple that the harder Jorr tightened 
his hold the faster she stood; then began the carlin 
to bestir herself, and then became f>orr loose on 
his feet, and there were very hard tussels, and it 
was not long ere forr fell down on one knee. Then 
went up UtgarS’s Loki and bade them leave their 


GYLFI’S MOCKING. 


63 


hold, and said that £6 it could not need to bid any 
men beside to try a hug in his hall, and it was 
then close on night. UtgarS's Loki showed forr 
and his fellows to seats, and they tarried there the 
night through in good fare. 

47. But in the morning so soon as it dawned 
stands J>orr up and his fellows; (they) clothe them 
and are ready to go away strait: then came thither 
UtgarS’s Loki, and let a board be set for them; 
there was no lack of good fare, meat and drink, 
but after they had eaten they betook them to their 
way. UtgarS’s Loki, leads them out, (and) goes with 
them away out of the burg; but at parting Ut- 
garS’s Loki spoke to 3?orr, and asks; “How he thinks 
his journey had turned out, and whether he had 
met any stronger man than himself?” forr answers 
that he will not say, that he has not fared very 
shamefully in this meeting; “but I know ye will 
call me a man of little worth, and I brook that ill.” 
Then said UtgarS’s Loki: “Now shall I tell you the 

O v 

truth, since thou art come out of the burg, that 
if I live and may have my way, then shallt thou 
never more come into it: and by my troth I wis 
thou hadst never come in, if I had known before 
thou hadst so much strength in thee, and that thou 
wouldst have brought us so near to great mishap. But 


64 


G VLFl’S MOCKING. 


I have made against thee mocking shows, so that 
the first time when I found thee in the wood, I 
came to meet you; and when thou shouldst loose 
the wallet, then had I bound it with iron-thread, 
but thou foundest not where it was to be opened. 
Next of all thou gavest me with the hammer three 
blows, and the first was least, and yet was it so 
mickle that it must have ended me to my bane if 
it had fallen on me; but when thou sawest by my 
hall a rock fast set, and there above sawest it clov- 
en into three dales and one the deepest, those were 
the dints of thy hammer: the rock I brought be- 
fore the strokes, but that thou sawest not. So was 
it also with the games that ye played with my 
thanes: the first then was that which Loki made; 
he was very hungry and eat fast, but he bight 
Logi was wildfire, and he burned the trough not 

D O 

less soon than the flesh. And when J>ialfi tried 
his race with him high t Hugi, that was my thought, 
and it was not to be weened by fialfi that he could 
strive in swiftness with that. But when thou drankest 
of the horn, and it seemed to thee to sink slowly, by 
my troth I wis that was then a wonder which 1 never 
could have trowed might be; the other end of the 
horn was out in the sea, that sawest thou not, 

but 


I 


65 


CYLFl’s MOCKING. 

but now when thou comest to the seashore, then 
willt thou be able to see what a sinking thou hast 

drunk in the sea, that is now called the ebb.” And 

again said he; “Nor methought was it less worth 
when thou liftedst up the cat, and to tell thee sooth, 
then all feared who saw how thou liftedst him 

with one foot off the ground, for that cat was 

not as it seemed to thee, that was Midgardsworm 
who lieth about the whole earth, and his length 
is barely enough to take in earth with his head 
and tail, and thou raised him so far up, that there 
was but scant room then to heaven. And it was 
also a great wonder about the wrestling match that 
thou hadst with Elli (Eld), for that none hath yet 
been, and none shall be, that eld doth not come 
and trip them all up, if they be so old as to bide 
her coming. And now sooth to say we must part, 
and it will fall out better for both of us twain, 
that ye come not oftener to seek me, I will guard 
my burg another time with the same or other 
sleights, so that ye will not get any power over 
me.” But when forr heard this tale he grasped his 
hammer and brought it aloft, but when he should 
dash it forward, then sees he nowhere UtgarS’s 
Loki; and when he turns back to the burg, and 
Gylji's Mocking. 5 


66 jpylfi’s mocking. 

» will forthwith break clown the burg, then sees 
he there vales wide and fair, but no burg. Then 
turns he back, and fares on his way until he came 
back to ]?ruBvangr; but sooth it is to say, that even 
then he had taken a rede with himself to look 
about, if he might find that meeting with Mid- 
gardsworm which afterward happened. Now I trow 
that none can tell thee truer tidings of this journey 
of forr. 

48. Then said Gangleri; Almickle in him- 
self is UtgarS’s Loki, though he deals much with 
sleight and cunning spells, but it may be seen that 
he is great in himself, in that he has thanes who 
have mickle might; but has not forr avenged him- 
self for this? Har answers: It is not unknown, 
though there be no wise men (to tell thereof), that 
Jorr set right this journey just spoken of, and he 
dwellt not long at home ere he went off so hastily 
on his way, that he had not (with him) his car, 
nor his hegoats, nor any fellow. He went out 
of Midgard in the guise of a young man, and 
came one even at dusk to a certain giant who is 
called Ymir: forr tarried there as a guest the 
night over, but at dawn Ymir stood up and made 
ready to row out to sea to fish; now forr sprang 
up and was soon dressed, and begged that Ymir 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


67 


would let him row out to sea with him; but 
Ymir says, that little help was to be had from 
him as he was so little and but a lad, “and (quoth 
he) thou willt get a chill, if I sit so long and so 
far out as I am wont.” But ]?6rr said he could 
row from the land for all that, and that it was 
not sure whether he would be the first to pray 
to row back; and forr was so wrath with the giant 
that it was nigh then that he had let the hammer 
l ing on his pate straitway ; but he bore with him, 
because he thought soon to try his strength some- 
where else. He asked Ymir what they should have 

for bait, but Ymir bade him get bait for himself; 

% 

then turned forr away thither where he saw an 
herd of oxen, which belonged to Ymir: he took 
the biggest ox bight Himinbriotr, and cut ofF the 
head, and went with it to the seashore; Ymir had 
then shoved olf the skifF, f>orr went on board and 
sat down in the afterroom, (and) took two oars 
and pulls, and Ymir thought they went along fast 
from his rowing: Ymir pulls in the bow forward, 
and the rowing was soon ended; Then said Ymir, 
that they were come to those waters, where he was 
wont to sit and draw up flatfish: but forr says he 
will row much farther; and then they took again a 
swift row; Now Ymir said, that they were come so 


68 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


far out, that it was perilous to sit out for the 
Midgardsworm, but forr says he will row (yet) a 
bit, and so he did, but Ymir was then very sad. 
Now when porr laid up his oars, he got ready a 
line very strong, nor was the angle less nor weaker, 
then put forr on the angle the oxhead, and cast 
it overboard, and the angle went to the ground: 
and so, sooth it is to say, that £orr beguiled not 
a whit less then Midgardsworm, than UtgarSs 
Loki had mocked forr when he heaved up the 
worm in his hand. Midgardsworm gaped wide 
over the oxhead, but the angle stuck in the 
worms gum : Now when the worm knew this, he 
tugged so hard that both forr’s fists were dashed 
against the gunwhale, but then was J>orr wrath, 
and he took on him his Asmight, and so spurned 
against (the worm), that he dashed both his feet 
through the ship and spurned the ground, and 
then drew the worm up on board. And it may 
be said, that no one hath seen ugly sights who 
might not see that, when forr whet his eyes on 
the worm, but the worm stared at him from be- 
neath and blew venom. Then is it said that the 
giant Ymir changed hue, paled, and qvaked, when 
he saw the worm, and that the sea ran out and in 
the skiff; and just as forr grasped his hammer and 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


69 


brought it aloft, then the giant fumbled at his 
fishingknife, and cut off dorr’s line at the board, 
but the worm sank in the sea, and porr cast the 
hammer after him? and men say he took the head 
off him at the ground, but I think it were true 
to tell thee that Midgardsworm lives yet, and lies 
in the sea. But forr clenched his fist and set 
it on Ymir's ear, so that he tumbled over board 
and (£orr) sees his feet (last) 5 and forr waded 
to land. 

49. Then said Ganglerij have any more ti- 
dings been with the Asa? A hard and famous deed 
wrought forr on that journey. Har answers,* It 
must now be said of those tidings which the Asa 
thought of more worth. But the beginning of this 
tale is, that Balldr the good dreamt dreams great and 
perilous for his life: but he told the Asa the dreams. 
Then took they their rede together, and that was 
done, that they should pray peace for Balldr, against 
all kinds of harm: and Frigg took an oath that 
they would spare Balldr, of fire and water, iron 
and all kinds of ore, stones, earth, trees, sicknesses, 
beasts, birds, venoms, and worms. But when this 
•was known and done, then w r as it the passtime of 
Balldr and the Asa, that he should stand up in their 
meetings, and that all the others should some shoot 


70 


GYLFl’s MOCKING. 


at him, some hew at him, some smite him with 

j 

stones; but whatever was clone to him he took 
no scathe, and this all thought great gain. But 

when Loki La u fey’s son saw that, it liked him ill 

that Balldr was not scathed. He went to Fensalir 
to Frigg, and turned him into a woman’s likeness: 
then asks Frigg, if the woman knew what the Asa 
did at their meetings. She said, that all shot at 
Balldr and that he was not scathed. Then said 

Frigg: “No weapon nor tree may hurt Balldr, an 

oath have I taken of all of them.” Then asks the 
woman, ‘‘Have all things sworn an oath to spare 
Balldr?” Then answers Frigg; “There grows one 
treetwig eastward of Valhall that is called mistletoe, 
that methought too young to crave an oath of.” 
Then next went the woman away; but Loki took 
the Mistletoe, cut it off, and went to the meeting. 
But IlavSr stood without in the ring of men, for 
that lie was blind; then said Loki to him “why 
shootest thou not at Balldr ?” He answers; ‘‘Because 
I am blind and see not where Balldr is, and another 
thing because I am weaponless.” Then said Loki; 
“Do thou after the likeness of other men, and shew 
Balldr worship as other men; I will shew thee where- 
about he stands, shoot thou at him with this wand.” 
HavSr took the mistletoe and shot at Balldr under 


1 


GYLFl’s MOCKING. 


71 


the guidance of Loki: the shaft (lew right through 
him, and he fell dead to earth; and that is the 
greatest mishap that hath befallen Gods and men. 
When Balldr was fallen, then failed the Gods words 
and speech, and hands too to take hold of him; 
and each looked at the other, and they were all 
of one mind toward him who had done the deed, 
but none might avenge it, that was so holy a place. 
But when the Asa strove to speak, then it was that 
a wailing came up first, so that none might tell 
the others of his grief with words; and Odin as 
was meet bare this scathe worst of them all, for 
he could best deem what a mickle loss and lessen- 
ing there was to the Asa in the falling away of 
Balldr. But when the Gods came to themselves, 
then quoth Frigg and asked; Who might be there 
with the Asa, who would win for his own all her 
love and good-will, “and (this, said she, he shall have) 
if he will ride on the way to Hell and try if he can 
find Balldr, and bid Hel a ransom if she will let 
Balldr fare home to Asgard.’’ But he that is na- 
med Hermofr the brisk, Odin’s lad, he was 
ready to undertake this journey; then was taken 
Sleipnir Odin’s horse, and led forth; and Hermofr 
got up on that horse and galloped away. Now the 
Asa took Balldr’s body and bore it to the seashore; 


72 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


Hringhorn bight Balldrs ship, she was the biggest 
of all ships, her would the Gods launch forth and 
make thereon Balldrs balefire, but the ship went 
not forwards; then (one) was sent into Jotunheim, 
after the witch that is bight Hyrrockin; but when 
she came, she rode on a wolf and had adderworms 
for reins 5 then leapt she from her steed, but Odin 
called for four Baresarks to mind the horse, and 
they could not hold him before they felled him. 
Then went Hyrrockin to the stem of the ship, 
and shoved it forwards so the first touch, that fire 
sprang out of the rollers, and all the land shook: 
then was 1*6 rr wrath and grasped his hammer, and 
would forthwith break her head, till all the Gods 
asked peace for her. Then was borne out on the 
ship Balldrs body, and when his wife Nanna Nep’s 
daughter saw that, her heart was broken for grief, 
and she died ; she was borne to the pile and thrown 
into the fire. Then stood forr up and hallowed 
the pile with Miollnir, and before his feet ran a 
certain dwarf, that is named Litr, but forr spurned 
at him with his foot, and dashed him into the fire, 
and he was burnt. But many kinds of folk sought 
this burning; first is to say of Odin, that with him 
fared Frigg and the Valkyriur and his ravens; but 
Freyr drove in a car with the boar that hight 


GYLFl’s MOCKING, 


73 


Gullinbursti or SliSrugtanni, and Heimdall rode 
the horse higbt Gulltoppr, but Freyia (drove) her 
cats: thither came also much folk of the Rimegiants 
and Hillogres. Odin laid on the pile the goldring 
that hight Draupnir, to it followed since that na- 
ture, that every ninth night there dropped from 
it eight goldrings of even weight; Balldr’s horse was 
led to the pile with all his gear. 

But of Hermofr it is to be said, that lie rode 
nine nights (through) dark dales and deep, so that 
he saw naught, before he came to the river Gioll, 
and rode on the bridge over Gioll; it is thatcht 
with shining gold. MoSguSr is the maid named who 
beeps the bridge. She asked him his name or kin, 
and said that the day before there rode over the 
bridge five bands of dead men, “but my bridge 
rings not save under thee alone, and thou hast not 
the hue of dead men; why ridest thou here on 
Hels way ?” He answers “I shall ride to Hel to look 
for Balldr, but hast thou seen aught of Balldr on 
Hers ‘way? And she said that Balldr had ridden 
thither over Gioll’s bridge “but beneath and north- 
ward lietli Hel’s way.” Then rode Hermo^r thereon 
till he came to Hehs grate; then got he off his 
horse and girthed him up fast, got up and cheered 


74 


GVLFi’S MOCKING. 


him with his spurs, but the horse leapt so hard 
over the grate that he came never near it. Then 
rode Hermofr home to the hall, and got down from 
the horse, went within into the hall, and saw there 
his brother Balldr sit in the first seat; and Hermofr 
tarried there the night over. But at morn then 
begged Hermofr of Hel, that Balldr should ride 
home with him, and said how great wailing was 
with the Asa. But Hel said, that it should now 
be tried whether Balldr were so beloved as is said, 
“and (quoth she) if all things in the world, quick 
and dead weep for him ; then shall he fare back 
to the Asa; but be kept with Hel if any speak 
against him or will not weep.” Then stood Hermofr 
up, but Balldr led him out of the hall, and took 
the ring Draupnir, and sent it as a keepsake to 
Odin, but Nanna sent Frigg a shift and yet more 
gifts, (and) to Fulla her thimble. Then rode 
Ilermofr back on his way and came to Asgard, 
and told all the tidings that he had seen and heard. 
Next to that the Asa sent over the whole world 
messengers to pray that Baldr might be wept out 
of Hell, all did that, men and things quick, and 
earths, and stones, and trees, and all ores; just as 
thou must have seen that all these things weep 
when they come out of frost and into heat. When 


GYLFI’S MOCKING, 


75 


the messengers were a-faring home, and had well 
done their errand; they find a certain cave wherein 
a hag sat, she is named f>avck; they pray her to 
weep Balldr out of Hell, she answers, 

“]?avk will bewail Nor quick nor dead gain I 

with dry tears by man’s son; 

Baldr’s balefire; Let Hel hold what she lias!” 

But men guess that there was Loki Lau fey's 
son, who has wrought most ill among the Asa. 

50. Then said Gangleri; Very much ill brought 
Loki about, first of all, in that Balldr was slain, and 
next, in that he was not loosed out of Hell; but 
was this at all yvvroken on him? Har answers: It 
was repaid him so that he will long feel it; when 
the Gods were so wrath with him as was to be 
weened, he ran away, and hid him in a certain fell, 
(and) made him there an house with four doors, 
so that he might see out of the house on all sides; 
but often in the day he turned him into the like- 
ness of a salmon, and then hid him in the water 
hight Franangr force; then thought he to himself 
what trick the Asa would find out to take him in the 
force; now as he sat in his house he took flax and 
yarn, and wrought (them) into meshes, as nets are 
since, but a fire burned before him: then saw he 
that the Asa were hard upon him, and Odin had 


76 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


seen out of HliSskialf where he was; he sprang up 
straitway and out into the river, and cast the net 
from (him) into the fire. But when the V Asa came 
to the house, then went first in he who was wisest 
of all liight Kvasir, and when he saw on the fire 
the ash of the net that had been burnt, then skil- 
led he that must be a trick to take fish, and told 
the Asa; then next they took and made them a 
net, after that which they saw in the ashes that 
Loki had made; and when the net was ready, then 
fared the Asa to the river and cast the net into 
the force: 3?orr held one end, and the other held 
all the Asa, and (so they) drew the net. But Loki 
fared before, and lay him down between two stones, 
they drew the net over him, but knew that some- 
thing quick was against (it); and they fare another 
time up to the force, and cast out the net, and bind 
up with it something so heavy that nothing shall 
be able to pass under. Then fares Loki before the 
net; but when he sees that it was a scant way to 
the sea, then leaps he up over the top of the net 
and runs up to the force. Now saw the Asa whi- 
ther he went, so they fare once more up to the 
force, and shift the folk into two bands, but forr 
wades now along the midstream, and so they fare 
toward the sea. And now Loki sees two choices. 


GYLFl’s MOCKING. 


77 


it was the risk of his life to swim out to sea, and 
the other was to leap again over the net; and that 
did he, (and) leapt as speedily as he could over 
the top cord of the net. f>6rr grasped at him, 
and tried to take hold of him, but he slipped in 
his hand, so that the hand first stayed at the tail, 
and for this sake is the salmon thin behind. Now 
was Loki taken truceless, and they went with him 
into a certain cave; then took they three rocks and 
set them up on edge, and bored a hole though 
each rock; then took they Loki’s sons Vali, and Nari 
or Narfi, the Asa turned Vali into a wolfs likeness, 
and he tore his brother Narfi; then took the Asa 
his guts and bound Loki with (them) over the 
three stones, one under his shoulders, another un- 
der his loins, the third under his hams, and made 
those bands into iron. Then took SkaSi an adder- 
worm and fastened (it) up over him, so that the 
venom should drop from the worm on his face; 
but Sigyn his wife stands by him and holds a dish 
under the venomdrops; and when the dish is full 
then goes she out, and pours away the venom, but 
while the venom drops on his face, then is he so 
racked with it, that the whole earth shakes, that 
call ye earthquake. There lieth he till the twilight 
of the Gods. 


78 


CYLFl’S MOCKING. 


51. Then said Gangleri; What tidings are 
to say of the twilight of the Gods? of this have 
1 not heard before. Har answers: Mickle and 
much tidings are to be said thereof; the first of 
these is, that then comes the winter called Fimbul- 
winter; then drives snow from all sides, the frosts 
are then mickle, and the winds keen, nor any joy 
of the sun, then come three winters together and 
no summer between; but first come three other 
such winters, that then are there all over the world 
great strifes, then brothers slay one the other for 
gain’s sake, and none spareth father or sons in that 

manslaughter and sibslaying: so is it said in Voluspa. 

“Brothers shall fight together, Whoredoms many, 
and he one the other’s bane; an axeage, a swordage, 
sister's children shields are cloven, 

their sibTshall spoil; a windage, a wolfage, 

hard is't with the time, ere the world stoops to doom.” 

Then happens what is to be thought great 
tidings, that the wolf swallows the Sun, and men 
think that great moan; then takes the other wolf 
the Moon, and he too maketh great harm; the stars 
are hurled from heaven; then is also that tiding 
that the whole earth and all rocks shake so, that 
the trees are torn up from the earth; but the rocks 
are rent, and all fetters and bonds are then broken 
and snapped: then becomes Fenriswolf loose; then 


GYLFl’S MOCKING. 


79 


boils up the sea over the land, for that then 
Midgardsworm turns him in giantmood, and seeks 
the land: then happens it that Naglfar is loosed, 
the ship so bight, it is made of dead men's nails, 
and for this sake is it worth warning, if a man die 
with unshorn nails, that man helpeth with much 
stuff towards the ship Naglfar, which Gods and 
men wish may be made ready late 5 but in this 
flood floats Naglfar, Hrymr bight the giant who 
steers Naglfar. Fenriswolf fares with mouth a-gape, 
and the upper jaw is at heaven and the lower on 
earth, he would gape more were there room; fire 
burns out of his eyes and nostrils. Midgards- 
worm breatheth forth so much venom that he de- 
fileth all the air and water, and he is very ugly, 
and he is on the other side of the wolf. In this 
hurly the heaven is cleft and thence ride Mu spell's 
sons; Surtr rides first, and both before and after 
him (is) a burning fire; his sword is very good, 
(and) the sheen of it brighter than of the sun, 
but as they ride (on) Bifravst then breaks it as 
before is said; Muspell’s offspring seek the field of 
meeting that YigriSr high t, thither come also then 
Fenriswolf and Midgardsworm, thither are also then 
come Loki and Hrymr, and with him all the Hrim- 
f>ursar, and all the friends of Hel follow Loki; but 


80 


GYLFl’s MOCKING. 

Muspell’s sons have their band alone by them- 
selves, it is very bright: the field VigrfSr is an 
hundred miles wide every way. 

But while these tidings are happening, then 

stands up Heimdallr and blows amain into his horn 

Gioll, and awakens all the Gods, and they hold a 

meeting together. Then ridcth Odin to Munirs 

spring, and taketh rede of Mimir for himself and 

his folk,* then shaketh YggdrasiTs Ash, and no thing 
* 

is then fearless in heaven or earth,* the Asa arm 
them, and all champions, and speed forth to the 
field : first rideth Odin with golden helm, and fair 
byrnie, and his spear Gungnir high't; he stands 
against Fenriswolf, but f>orr (stands) forward on 
his other side, and may not help him, for that he 
hath his hands full in fighting with Midgardsworm ; 
Freyr fights against Surtr, and there is a hard 
struggle ere Freyr falls, it is his bane that he 
misses that good sword of his which he gave Skirnir. 
Then is also become loose the hound Garmr, that 
is bound before the cave Gm'pa,* he is the greatest 
plague, he hath the fight against Tyr, and they 
are each other's scathe. £orr bears off praise for 
Midgard worm's bane, and steps away from him 
nine feet, then falls he dead to earth for the venom 

that 


GYLFl’s MOCKING. 


81 


that the worm blows on him. The wolf swallows 
Odin, that is his bane, but straitway comes on 
Vlfarr, and steps with one foot on the nether jaw 
of the wolf, on that foot hath he the shoe, for 
which stuff hath been agathering in all ages, this is 
those strips of skin which men cut out of their shoon 
for the toes or heels, for this sake shall the man 
cast away those strips, who thinks to come to help 
the Asa; with one hand takes he upper jaw of the 
wolf and rends asunder his gape, and that is the 
wolf’s bane. Loki hath strife with Heimdallr and 
they are each other’s bane. Then next Surtr 
slingeth fire over the earth and burneth all the 
world; so is it said in Vbluspa. 


“High blows Heimdallr, 
the horn is aloft, 

Odin speak eth 
at Mimir’s head, 
shaketh Yggdrasil’s 
ash straitstanding, 
groanetli the old tree; 
but the giant is loose.” 

Hrymr drives east fro 
holds his shield before; 
Jdrmungandr turns him 
in giantmood, 

Gylfis Mocking. 


What is’t with Asa? 
what is’t with Elves? 
roareth all Jbtunheira, 

The Asa are met; 

Dwarves are howling 
before their stonedoors, 
witty in rock walls; 
are ye wise yet or what! 

the worm smites the waves; 
but the eagle screams, 
the pale beak tears corpses, 
Naglfar is loose. 


6 


82 


GYLFI’S MOCKING. 


A keel fares east fro 
Muspell’s peoples 
will come oer the sea, 
hut Loki steereth, 
there are fell powers 
with Freki all, 
to them is his brother 
Byleislr in front. 

Surtr fares south fro 
with blazing brand, 
from the sword of thespherc-God 
shineth a sunbeam; 
rocks dash together, 
giants totter, 

men tread the way to Hel; 
but heaven is cleft. 

Then comes to Hlyn 
another woe forward, 
when Odin fares 
to war with the wolf; 
and the bright bane 
of Beli with Surtr, 
then will fall 
Frigg’s dearest God. 


Odin’s son goeth 
to war with the wolf, 
Vifarr on his way 
to the wild beast. 

He to the giant’s child 
lets in the heart stand 
his hand-drawn sword, 
when he venges his sire.s 

Goeth the famous 
offspring of Hlodyn 
scarce from the adder 
the champion of gloom , 
ere from his wrath drops 
Midgard’s warder; 
then will all mankind 
from homesteads be hurled. 

Sun shall be swart, 
fields sink in sea, 
and the bright stars 
from heaven be cast; 
firebreath rageth 
round time’s nurse, 
the high heat playcth 
with heaven itself.” 


Here too is it thus said , 

“Vigri$r hight a field, 

where will meet in fight 

Surtr and the sweet Gods; 

an hundred miles 

is it every way; 

that is their fated field.” 


GYLFl’s MOCKING 


83 


52. Then said Gangleri ; What comes then 
after, when heaven is burnt and earth, and all the 
world, and all the Gods dead and all champions, 
and all the folk of men ? for ye have already said 
that each man shall live in some world for all ages. 
Then answers Har: Many abodes are there then 
good, and many bad ; best is it then to be in Gimle 
in heaven with Surtr; and great store of good drink 
is there for them who think that joy in the hall 
hight Brimir, it stands also in heaven. That is also 
a good hall which stands on Nifa-fells wrought of 
red gold, it hight Sindri, in this hall shall abide 
good men and wellminded. On Na-strand is a 
mickle hall and a bad, and the doors look north- 
ward 5 it is also wrought altogether of adderbacks 
like a wattled house,* but the worm’s heads all turn 
into the house, and blow venom so that rivers of 
venom run along the hall, and those rivers wade 
murderers and all who forswear themselves, as it is 
here said. 


“A. hall stands I wis 
far from the sun 
Na-strand upon; 
north look the doors: 
venom drops fall 
in through loopholes. 

But in H vergel mi r is worst 


that hall is woven 
with hacks of worms, 
there shall wade 
the heavy streams 
men forsworn 
and menslayers.** 


“There quells Nifthavggr 
the bodies of the dead.*’ 


84 


GYLFl’S mocking. 


53. Then said Ganglen; Live any Gods then ? 
or is there any earth or heaven ? liar answers; The 
earth shoots up then from the sea, and it is green 
and fair, the fields wax unsown. Vifarr and Yali 
live, so that neither the sea nor Surtr’s fire hath 

9 

harmed them, and they dwell on Ifavdllr, where 
Asgard was before; and thither come forr’s sons, 
Mofi and Magni; and have there Miollnir; then next 
come Balldr and Havftr from Hell; then they set all 
together and talk, and call to mind their old tales, 
and rede of the tidings which happened aforetime, 
and of Midgardsworm , and Fenris-wolf: then find 
they in the grass those golden tables which the Asa 
once had: so is it said. 

“ViJ>arr and Yali MdJ>i and Magni 

abide in the God’s house shall have Miollnir 

when Surtr’s fire is black, of Vingnir to stay fight.” 

But in the place hight Hod mini ir’s holt two 

men lie hid during Surtr’s fire, hight thus Lifand 

Leiffrasir, and they have morningdew for meat ; but 

from these men comes so mickle kinsfolk that they 

dwell over the whole world, as it is here said. 

“But Lif and Lcifjhasir Dew of the morning 

they will lie hid is what they for meat have, 

in Hodmimir’s holt, but thence come the races.” 

But what >\ill seem to thee wondrous, is that 
the sun should have brought forth a daughter not 

O O 


GYLFl’S mocking. 


85 


less fair than herself, and she fares then in the 
steps of her mother; as is here said. 

“Daughter one That maid shall ride, 

hears Alfravjhill when the Gods are dead, 

ere Fenrir takes her; on her mother’s way.” 

But now if thou knowest aught farther to ask, 
I wis not whence that can come to thee; for that 
never heard I any man tell longer of the worlds- 
faring, and enjoy now what thou hast heard as 
thou canst. 

Then* next heard Gangleri a great din every 
way around him, and he turned and looked on all 
sides, and when he sees more about him then stands 
he without on a flat vale, and he sees then no hall 
and no burg: then goes he away on his road, and 
comes into his kingdom, and says those tidings 
that he has seen and heard, and after him each 
man told others these sayings. 




/ 


86 


BRAGFS TELLING. 


1. One man is named iEgir or Hler, he abode 
in the isle that is now called Hler’s isle, he was 
very skilled in spells. He went on his way to As- 
gard, but when the Asa wist of his coming they 
treated him with good fare, though many things 
were then wrought with false shows 5 and at even 
when they should drink, then let Odin be borne 
into the hall swords, and they were so bright that 
it glistened from them, and there was no other light 
had while they were set down to drink : then go the 
Asa to their guild, and the twelve Asa who are wont 
to doom set them on their highseats; and so were 
they named, for, NjorSr, Freyr, Tyr, Heimdallr, 
Bragi, Yifarr, Yali, Ullr, Haenir, Forseti. And like- 
wise the Asynia with them: Frigg, Frey a, Gefiun 
Ifunn, Gerfr, Sigun, Fulla, Nanna. It seemed 
grand to JEgir to look about him, the pannels of 
the wall were all tiled with fair shields,* there was 
also swingeing strong mead and they drank deep; 
next man to jEgir sat Bragi, and they had much 
talk together over their drink: Bragi spake to ^Egir 
of many tidings which had befallen the Asa. 


BRAG 1*8 TELLING. 


87 


2. He began then with the tale, how three 
Asa, Odin and Loki and Haenir, fared from home, 
and fared over fells and heath and were badly off 
for meat, but as they came down into a certain 
dale, they see there a flock of oxen, and take one 
ox and set about seething it ; now when they think 
the flesh shall be sodden, they lift the lid off the 
broth, and it was not yet sodden ; and the second 
time when they lift the lid, after a little time was 
gone, and it was not yet sodden, they talk among 
themselves how this thing could happen. Then 
hear they a voice in an oak lip above them, that 
said he who sat there sways so that it is not sodden 
in the seething, they looked thither, and there sat 
an eagle and no little one: Then said the eagle 
“An ye are willing to give me my fill of the ox, 
then shall it be sodden in the seething.” To that 
they said aye: then he let himself sink down out 

of the tree, and set him to the seething, and snatches 

♦ 

up straitway first of all two thighs of the ox and 
both shoulders: then was Loki wrath and grasped 
a mickle stock, and swings it with all his might, 
and smites against the eagles body; the eagle shakes 
him after the blow and flys up, then was the stock 
fast on the body of the eagle and Loki’s hands at 
the other end: the eagle flys just so high that Loki’s 


88 


bragi's telling. 


feet take hold below on stones and rooks and trees, 
his hands he thinks will be torn from his shoulder- 
blades: he calls out, and begs the eagle most earn- 
estly for peace, but he says that Loki shall never 
get loose, unless he takes an oath to him to come 
along with Ifunn and her apples out of Asgard: 
but Loki is willing to do this, then is he loosed 
and goes to his fellows, and it is not said farther 
how they fared before they came home. But at 
the time spoken of Loki lures If unn out of Asgard 
into a certain wood, and says that he has found 
some apples which she will think of great price: 
and begged that she should ha ve with her her apples 
and put them alongside these. Then comes thither 
fiazi the giant in eagleshape, and takes Ifunn 
and flys away with her, and has her home to his 
abode,* but the Asa were ill at ease for the loss of 
If unn, and became soon gray and old. Then held 
they a meeting, and ask each other what was last 

%j O' 

known about Ifunn, and it was last seen that she 
went out of Asgard with Loki: then was Loki taken 
and brought to the meeting, and death or strong 
pain was threatened him, but when he became 
afraid then he said he would seek after Ifunn in 
Jbtunheim, if Freyia will lend him the falconshape 
that she hath: and when he gets the falconshape, 


RRAGl’S TELLING. 


89 


lie flys north into Jotunheim, and comes one day 
to fiazi the giant’s, he was rowing on t he sea, 
but Ipunn was alone at home: Loki turned her 
into the likeness of a nut, and held her in his 
claws, and flys as fast as he can. But when fiazi 
came home and misses ifunn, he takes his eagle- 
shape and flys after Loki, and the eaglewings gained 
in the flight. But when the Asa saw that the falcon 
flew with the nut,_and where the eagle flew, then 
went they out under Asgard, and bare thither 
bundles of chips for firing (Logaspsenir). And 
when the falcon flew within over the burg and 
let himself sink down inside the burg wall, then the 
Asa set fire to the chips, but the eagle could not 
stop himself when he missed the falcon, and then 
the fire caught the feathers of the eagle, and took 
from him his flight: then were the Asa near and 
slew fiazi the giant within Asgard’s grates, and 
that slaughter is all-famous. But Skafi daughter 
of Jiazi the giant took helm and byrnie, and all 
wargear, and comes to Asgard to avenge her father; 
but the Asa bade her atonement and ransom; 
and the first thing is, that she shall choose her a 
man from among the Asa, and choose by the feet 
and see no more of him: then saw she one man’s 
feet wondrous fair; and said, “This one choose I, 


90 


BRAG IS TELLING. 


few things will be loathly about BaUdr.’’ But it 
was NjorSr out of Noatun. She had also this in 
her deed of atonement, that the Asa should do that 
which she thought they would not be able, and 
this was to make her laugh: then did Loki this, 
he tyed a string to the beard of a goat, and the 
other end to his own body, and afterward one 
pulled this way the other that, and both shrieked 
out loud: then Loki let himself fall on Skafi’s 
knees, and then she laughed, and so the atonement 
with her at the hands of the Asa was brought 
about: and so it is said that Odin did over and 
above what she asked, in that he took fiazi’s eyes 
and cast them up into heaven, and made thereof 
stars twain. Then spake iEgir; Mickle methinks 
was fiazi in himself; but of what kin was he? 
Bragi answers: Avlvaldi hight his father, and it will 
seem to the worth mark if I tell thee of him. He 
was very rich in gold , but when he died and his 
sons should share their heritage, they had this mea- 
sure for the gold which they shared, that each 
should take his mouthfull in turn, and all even as 
many. The first of them was fiazi, the second l£i, 
the third Gangr; but we have it now as a saw 
among us, to call gold the mouthtale of these 
giants, but in runes or songship we wrap this up 


RRAGI’S TELLING. 


91 


so , that we call it the measure, or saw, or tale 
of these giants. Then said ]^Egir; methinks that is 
well hidden in runes. 

3. And again said jEgir; Whence have ye 
that craft that ye call songship? Bragi answers; 
It was the beginning to this that the Gods had a 
feud with the folk that hight Vanir, but (at last) 
they held a meeting about a peace, and settled it 
in this wise, they went both to a jar and spat into 
it their spittle; but at parting then the Gods took 
it, because they would not let that mark of peace 
perish, and shaped out of it a man, who hight 
Kvasir: he is so wise that none asks him any 
things that he knows not how to answer; and he 
fared wide about the world to teach men wisdom, 
but when he came at their bidding to certain 
dwarves, Fialar and Galar, then called they him to 
speak aside with them, and slew him, (and) let his 
blood run into two jars and one kettle, and this 
they called OSraerir, but the jars hight Son and 
BoSn : they blended honey with the blood, and 
thereof was made such mead, that whosoever drinks 
of it becomes bard or wiseman. The dwarves told 
the Asa that Kvasir had choked in his wisdom, for 
that no one was there so wise as to be able to 
ask him enough about learning. 


92 


BRAGl’S TELLING. 


Then bade these dwarves to them the giant 
hight Gillingr and his wife, then the dwarves bade 
Gillingr to row out to sea with them, but as they 
fared forth along the land the dwarves rowed against 
a blind scar and overturned the skiff; Gillingr was 
no swimmer and was drowned; but the dwarves 
righted their skiff and rowed to land: they told 
his wife this mischance, but she bore it ill and 
wept aloud. Then Fialar asked her, if it would 
make her mind easier, if she were to see out on 
the sea the place where he had sunk; and she said 
it would; then spake he with Galar his brother, 
that he should go up over the doorway as she went 
out, and let the quernstone fall on her head, and 
said he was weary of her weeping; and so he did. 
Now when Suttungr the giant Gillingr’s son heard 
this, he fares thither and took the dwarves, and 
bears them out to sea, and sets them on a scar 
flooded at high tide, they pray Suttungr to spare 
their lives, and bid him (take) in atonement for 
his father’s blood the dear mead; and that was for 
an atonement between them. Suttungr bears the 
mead home, and hoards it in the stead hight Unit- 
biorg, and sets there to guard it his daughter 
Gunnlavfa. From this call we songship Kvasir’s 
blood, or dwarves drink or fill; or some kind ol 


BRACl’S TELLING. 


93 


liquor of OSraerii* or BoSn orSon; or the dwarves 
freight, (because that mead brought them a life- 
ransom from the scar) or Suttungr’s mead., or 
Ifnitbiorg’s liquor. 

4. Then said iEgir; Methinks it is darkly 
said, to call songship by these names. But how 
came the Asa to Suttungrs mead? Bragi answers: 
The story about this is 9 that Odin fared from home 
and came thither where thralls nine were a-mowing 
hay,- he asks if they will that he should whet their 
scythes; to this they said yea; then takes he a hone 
from his belt, and whetted them, and their scythes 
seemed to them to bite much better, and they asked 
if the hone were for sale; but he put such a price 
on it, that he who would buy it should give a fair 
sum for it, now all quoth they were willing (to give 
it), and (each) bade him sell it to him; but he cast 
the hone up aloft; and as all wished to lay hands 
on it, they scrambled so about it that each brought 
his scythe on the other’s neck. Odin stopped for 
a night’s lodging at a giant’s that Baugi bight, Sut- 
tungr’s brother. Baugi said his housekeeping had 
gone ill , and told him that his nine thralls had 
slain each other, but that he had no hope of (other) 
workmen. Now Odin named himself (when) with 
him Bavlverkr; he offered to take upon him the 


94 


BRAGl’s TELLING. 


work of nine men for Baugi, but asked for his 
hire one drink of Suttiingr s mead. Baugi quoth 
he owned no sway over the mead, (and) said that 
Suttiingr would have it all alone, but he said he 
would fare with Bavlverkr and try if they could 
get the mead. Bavlverkr won during the summer 
nine men’s work for Baugi, but at winter asked 
Baugi for his wages. Then fared they both away: 

Baugi told his brother Suttiingr his bargain with 

« 

Bavlverkr,* but Suttiingr denied stoutly even a drop 
of the mead. Then said Bavlverkr to Baugi, that 
they should try some trick if they might get at 
the mead, and Baugi was ready enough : then drew 
forth Bavlverkr the borer bight Rati, and said that 
Baugi shall bore the rock if the borer will bite 5 
he did so: then says Baugi that the rock is bored 
through, but Bavlverkr blows into the hole that 
the borer had made, and the splinters flew up 
agaiust him ; then found he that Baugi would cheat 
him, and he bade him bore through the rock: 
Baugi bored again; but when Bavlverkr blows the 
second time, then the splinters were blown inward. 
Then Bavlverkr turned him into a worm’s likeness, 
and crept into the hole made by the borer, but 
Baugi stuck after him with the borer and missed 
him; Bavlverkr fared whither GunnlavS was, and 


95 


I 


BRACI’S TELLING. 

lay with her three nights, and then she gave 

him leave to drink of the mead three drinks ; 

/ 

the first drink he drank all out of OSraerir, the 
second all out of Bo$n, the third all out of Son, 
and so had he all the mead; then turned he him 
into an eagle’s shape and flew off as fast as he 
could. But when Suttungr saw the eagle’s flight, 
he took on him an eagle’s shape and flew after 
him; but when the Asa saw where Odin flew, they 
set out in the yard their jars: now when Odin 
came inside of Asgard he spewed up the mead 
into the jars, but it then so near befell him that 
Suttungr had caught him, that he sent some of the 
mead after him backwards, and no care was taken 
of that, he who would might have it, and that we 
call the share of silly bards; but Suttungr’s mead 
gave Odin to the Asa, and to those men who have 
wit to use it, therefore call we songship Odin’s 
prey, and find, and his drink, and his gift, and 
the Asa’s drink. 


96 


FOREWORD TO THE EDDA. 


1. Almighty God shaped in the beginning 
heaven and earth, and all things that belong to 
them, and last (of all) men twain, from whom the 
races are come, Adam and Eve; and this kindred 
waxed more and more, and was spread over all 
the world. But as* the times went by, then became 
the folk of man uneven, some were good and right- 
trowing, but many more turned then after the lusts 
of the world, and took no heed of Gods laws: 
and for this drowned God the world in the flood, 
and all that was quick on the world save those 
who were in the ark with Noe. 

After Noe’s flood eight men were alive, they 
who abode in the world, and from them came 
the stock of men, and it chanced now as before, 
that when mankind waxed, and the world was 
dwellt over, then was there a very great throng 
of men, who loved the greed of gain and power, 
but went away from listening to God, and did this 
so much, that at last there w r as none who would 
name God; and who was there who could tell his 


sons 


FOREWORD TO THE EDDA. 


97 


sons of God’s great wonders? And so it came that 
they tint God’s name, and wide over the world 
there was not found the man who could say truely 
who shaped him. But not the less did God give 
them earthly gifts, wealth and happiness, which 
should be with them in the world; he shared also 
among them wisdom, so that they skilled to know 
all earthly things, and all kinds that might be seen 
in the lift and on earth. This they (men) thought 
upon and wondered at, how it might happen that 
the earth and beasts and fowl had the same na- 
ture in some things, and yet (were) unlike in shape. 
It was one mark of this nature, that the earth 
might be delved into on high fellpeaks and the 
water sprang up there, and it needed not to dig 
longer there for water than in deep dales; and just 
so with beasts and fowl, it is no farther to the 
blood in the head than in the feet. Another (proof 
of this) nature of the earth is it, that every year 
waxes on the earth grass and bloom, and the same 
year falls that all away and rots; so also on beasts 
and fowl waxes hair and feathers, and falls off every 
year. The third nature of the earth is that when it 
is opened and delved, then groweth grass on the 
mould which is uppermost on the earth. Rocks 

7 : 


Foreword to the Edda. 


98 


FOREWORD TO THE EDO A. 


and stones they set off against the bones and teeth 
of things quick. From these things they deemed 

that the earth must be quick, and that she had life in 

$ 

some manner 5 and they wist that she was wonder- 
fully old in the tale of her ages, and mighty in her 
kind j she fed all things quick and took to herself all 
that died: for this sake gave they her a name, and 
told (back) their race to her. This also learned 
they of their old kinsmen, that after many hun- 
dred winters were told back, the goings of the 
heavenly balls were uneven, some had longer goings 
than othersome. From suchlike things guessed they, 
that some one must be the steerer of the heavenly 
balls, who could stay their going at his own will, 
and that he must be strong and mighty 5 and of 
this one weened they, if he swayed (these) first 
shapes, that lie must have been before the heavenly 
balls yet were, and they saw that if he ruled the 
goings of the heavenly balls, he must sway the 
sun’s shine, and heavens dew, and earth’s growth, 
which follow them 5 and so also the winds in the 
lift, and with them the storms of the sea. They 
knew not where his realm was, but still they trowed 
that he ruled all things, on earth and in the lift, 
of heaven and the heavenly balls, of seas, and 
weather. But for that these things might be better 


FOREWORD TO THE EDDA. 


99 


told and kept in mind, then gave they him the 
same name with themselves, but this belief lias been 
changed in many ways, just as the peoples shifted 
about, and tongues arose. 

2. In his old age shared Noe the world with 
his sons; for Cham he meant the western lands, 
and for Japhteth the northern lands, but for Sem 
the southern lands, with those parts that will after- 
ward be marked out in the trithing of the earth. 
In the time that these men’s sons were in the world, 
then grew strong forthwith the greed of gain and 
power; for that they knew then many crafts which 
beforetime had not been found out, and each was 
puffed up with his own handywork. And so long 
forward carried they their pride, that the Affricans, 
sprung from Cham, made war on that lot of the 
world that Sem ’s offspring their kinsmen abode in; 
and when they had overcome them, it seemed to them 
that the world was too small for them, and they 
smithied a tower with tile and stone, which they 
meant should reach to heaven, on the vales called 
Senniar. And when this smithying was so far for- 
ward that it almost stood above the air, and they 
had not a whit less eagerness to hold on with the 
work; and when God sees how their pride rages 
high, then sees he that he must in some way beat 


100 


FOREWORD TO THE ED DA. 


it clown. And the same God, though he is all-powerful, 
and might have cast down all their work in the 
twinkling of an eye, and made themselves become 
dust, yet willed he rather to set at naught their 
purpose in this wise, that they might know their 
own littleness, in that none of them should skill to 
understand what the other talked, and in that none 
knew what the other bade him do, but one broke 
down what another wished to raise up 5 until that 
they strove among themselves, and with this their 
purpose in beginning the smithying of the tower 
came to naught. And he that was foremost •light 
Zoroastres, he laughed before he wept when he 
came into the world, but the master-smiths were 
two and seventy, and so many tongues have since 
been spread over the world , after that the giants 
shifted their seats over the land, and the peoples 
waxed full. On this same place was made one 
burg the most famous, and it's name was taken 
from the name of the tower, and it was called Ba- 
bilon. And it was so when the mingling of tongues 
was, then waxed many the names of men and other 
things, and that same Zoroastres had many names, 
and though he understood that his pride was laid 
low by the said smithying, still bore he on to 
worldly power, and let himself be chosen king 


FORE WO tin TO THE E I»D A. 


101 


over many peoples of the Assirians; from him arose 
the bewildering of false Gods, and after he was 
worshipped, he was called Baal, whom we call Bel: 
he had also many other names, but as the names 
waxed many, then the truth was tint along at the 
same time, and from this first sin then worshipped 
every man that came after his foregoers, and beasts 
and fowl, the lift and heavenly balls, and countless 
lifeless things; until this bewildering went over the 
whole world; and so carefully tint they the truth, 
that none knew his shaper save those men alone 
who spake the Ebrcw tongue, that which passed be- 
fore the smithying of the tower; albeit they lost 
not the bodily gifts that were allowed them, and 
for that they skilled to deem of all things with 
earthly skill, for wisdom of the soul was not given 
them, so they deemed that all things were smithied 
of some one stuff. 

3. The world was shared into three parts; 
(one) from the south westward and till the Mid- 
land-sea, that lot was called Affrika, but the 
south side of this share is hot and burnt by the 
sun. The second lot from the west until the 
north and up to the sea, that is called Evropa or 
Enea, the nether side of this is cold, so that grass 
grows not, nor may it be dwellt in. From the 


102 


FORK WORD TO THE ED DA. 


north and round the east country all to the south, 
that is called Asia, in that lot of the world is all 
fairness, and pride, and wealth from the fruitfulness 
of the earth, gold and gemstones: there is also the 
midworld, and as the earth is there fairer and of 
better kind than in other steads, so was also the folk 
of man there most furnished with all gifts, wisdom 
and strength, fairness and all knowledge. 

4. Near the middle of the world was made 
the house and inn, the most famous ever made, 
that was called Troja, there in the land we call 
Tyrkland. This homestead was made much bigger 
than others, and with more craft in many ways, 
with cost and riches that were there about. There 
were twelve kingdoms and one overking, and much 
folk and land belonged to each kingdom: there 
were in the burg twelve lords,' these lords have 
been before all men who have been in the world 
in all manly things. This every storyteller that hath 
said of these things doth not in the least gainsay, 
and for this sake, that all great men of the north 
country tell back their race thither, and set among 
the tale of the Gods, all who were Lords of the 
town, just as first of all they set Priamus’ self in 
Odin’s stead: nor may that be called wonderful, for 
Priam us was come of Satilrnus, the same whom 


F O R K W O R I) T O T H K K 1) I) A. 


103 


the north country longtime trowed to be himself 
God. 

5. This Satiirnus waxed up in that island 
in Greekland’s sea hight Krit, he was greater and 

O 7 O 

stronger and fairer than oilier men. So also was 
his wisdom before that of all men, like his other 
natural gifts; he found also many crafts which before 
had not been found out; he was also so mickle in the 
black art that he knew things about to be; he found 
also that red thing in the earth from which he smelted 
gold, and from such things as these he became 
speedily powerful; he foretold also harvests and 
many other hidden things, and for this and many 
other deeds took they him to be Lord over the 
isle, and when he had steered it a little space, then 
was there soon enough all kinds of plenty. There 
passed none other coin save gold pieces, such a store 
of gold was there: and though there were hard 
times in other lands, no crops ever failed there, 
so that men might seek thither for all the things 
that they needed to have: and so from these and 
many other unsearchable gifts of might that lie had, 
they trowed him to be God, (and from him arose 
another bewildering among the Kn'tmen and Mace- 
donians, just as the first among the Assirians and 
Challdeans from Zoroastres) and when Satiirnus finds 


m 


FOREWORD TO THE E D DA. 


how great strength the folk think they have in 
him, then says he that lie is God, and calls 
himself the steerer of heaven and all things. 

6. Once on a time fared he in a ship to G reek- 
land, for that there was a king’s daughter on whom 
he had set his mind; he got her love in this wise, 
one day as she was out with her handmaidens, 
then took he on him the likeness of a bull and 
lay before her in the wood, and so fair was he 
that a golden hue was on every hair: and when 
the king’s daughter sees him, then patted she him on 
the mouth, he springs up and threw off the bull’s 
shape, and took her in his arms and bare her to the 
ship, and had her home to Krit. When His wife Juno 
finds out tin's, he turned her (the king’s daughter) into 
the likeness of a heifer, and sent her eastward into 
the Nile country, and let the thrall bight Argulus 
tend her, there was she twelve months ere he 
changed her shape. Many things did he like this, 
or more wondrous. He had three sons, the first 
Light Jupiter, the second Neptunus, the third Pliitus. 
They were all mighty men, yet was Jupiter long 
before them, lie was a man of war and won many 
kingdoms; he was also crafty like his father, and 
took on him the likeness of many beasts, and so 
he wrought out much, that for mankind is unable 


FOREWORD TO THE EDDA. 


105 


to be done: and in this wise and by other tilings, 
he awed all peoples, so that Jupiter is set in Jorr’s 
stead, since all evil beings fear him. 

7. Satiirnus let be raised up in Krit two 
and seventy burgs, and when he thought him fast- 
seated in his realm, then shared he it with his 
sons, whom he had set up with himself as Gods: 
and to Jupiter gave he the realm of heaven, but to 
Neptunus the realm of earth, and to Plutushell, it 
seemed to him that lot was the worst, so he 
gave him his hound, which he called Serberus, that 
he might guard hell ; this Serberus the Greeks say 
Erkulus dragged out of hell up to earth. And 
though Saturn us had shared to Jupiter the realm 
of heaven, yet was he not less greedy to have for 
his own earth also, and now makes war on the 

realm of his father ; and so it is said he let take 

and geld him, and for great works like this he 

says he is God; and the Macedonians say that he 

let the parts be taken and cast out into the sea; 
and longtime trow r ed they that thereof had been 
made a woman, whom they called Venus, and set 
her in the tale of the Gods, and for that hath 
Venus eversince been called the Goddess of love, for 
they trowed that she might turn all hearts of men 
and women to love. When Satiirnus was gelded 


106 


V 01\ KWOK I) TO THE KI)1) A. 


by Jupiter his son, then fled he from the east out of 
Kilt, and hither into Italy; there abode then such 
kind of people as worked not, but lived on acorns 
and grass, and lay in caves or holes in the earth: 
and when Saturnus came thither, then changed he 
his name, and called him NjorSr, for the sake that 
he thought his son Jupiter might afterward seek 
him out. He first taught the men there to plough 
and plant vineyards; there was good land and raw, 
and there were soon great crops, they took him 
for their lord, and so got he all the realms there 
about, and let build there many burgs. 

8. Jupiter his son had many sons from whom 
the races are come; his son was Dardanus, his 
son Herikon , his son Tros, his son llus, his son 
Lamedon, father of Priamus the headking. Priamus 
had many sons, one of them was Ektor, he has 
been most famous of all men in the world for 
strength and growth, and grace, and for all manly 
deeds of knightly rank; and it is found written, 
that when the Greeks, and all the strength of the 
north and east country, bore down on the Trojan men, 
they had never been overcome unless the Greeks 
had called on the Gods, and so went the answers 
that no strength of man might overcome them, unless 
they were broken by their own men, which after- 


FOREWORD TO THE EDDA. 


107 


ward was done. And from their fame men that 
came after gave themselves titles, and among the 
first, just as the Romans have been the most famous 
men after their days in many things, so it is said 
that when Rome was built the Romans turned their 
customs and laws, as near as they could come, 
after those which the Trojan men their forefathers 
had. And so mickle might followed these men, that 
many ages after when Pompeius a leader of the Romans 
berried in the east country, (and) Odin fled away 
out of Asia, and hither into the north country, then 
gave he himself and Ins men their names, and said 
Pria raus had hight Odin but his queen Frigg, and 
from this took the realm since it’s name, and there 
where the burg stood was called Frigia. And 
whether it be that Odin said that of himself out of 
boasting, or that it had been so in the mingling of 
tongues, yet have many wise men held that for a 
sooth saying, and for a long time after every great 
lord took for himself a pattern therefrom. 

9. A king in Troja hight Munon or Mention, 
he had (to wife) a daughter of Priamus the headking, 
she hight Troan, they had a son, who hight Tror, 
(him call we forr) he was in fostering in Tracia 
with the duke who is named Loricus. Now when 
he was ten winters old then took he to him his 


108 


FOREWORD TO THE ED I>A. 


father’s arms; so fair of face was lie when lie stood 
by other men as when ivory is set in oak, his hair 
is fairer than gold. When he was twelve years 
old he had fall strength, then lifted he from earth 
ten bear’s hides at once, and then slew lie duke 
Loricus his foster fat her, and his wife Lora or Glora, 
and took for his own the realm of Tracia, that 
call we fruSheim. Then fared he wide over the 
land and knew the countries of the world, and 
quelled then alone all baresarks, and all giants, and 
one the biggest dragon, and many beasts. In the 
north of the world found he that spaewife bight 
Sibil, whom we call Sif, and got her to wife. None 
can tell Sifs stock, she was of all women fairest, 
her hair was as gold, their son was Loride who 
was like his father, his son was Henrede, his son 
Yingepor, his son Vingener, his son Moda, his son Magi, 
his son Cespheth, his son Bedvig, his son Atra, whom 
we call Annan’, his son Itrman, his son Heremod, 
his son Skialldunn, whom we call Skiold, his son 
Biaf, whom we call Biar, his son Jat, his son GiiSolfr, 
his son Fiarleif, whom we call Frifdeif, he had the 
son who is named Vofinn, him call we Ojinn. 
He was a famous man for wisdom and all craft, 
his wife bight FrigiSa who we call Frigg. 


/ 


FOREWORD TO THE EDDA. 109 

10. Of in had spaedom, and so also his wife, 
and from this knowledge found he out that his name 
would be held high in the north part of the world, 
and worshipped beyond all kings; for this sake was 
he eager to go on his way from Tyrkland, and he 
bad with him very much people, young men and 
old, churls and wives, and he had with him many 
costly things. But whithersoever they fared over the 
land much fame was said of them, so that they 
were thought to be liker Gods than men: and they 
stayed not their faring till they came northward 
into that land that is now called Saxland, there 
dwelt Ojinn longtime, and had that land far and 
wide for his own. There set Ofinn three of his 
sons to keep the land. One is named Veggdegg, he 
was a strong king and ruled over East Saxland, 
his son was Yitrgils, his sons were these, Ritta fa- 
ther of Heingez, and Sigarr father of Svebdegg, 
whom we call Svipdag. The second sou of Of inn 
bight Beldegg, whom we call Balldr, he owned that 
land now tight Vestfal, his son was Brandr, his 
son Friofigar, whom we call Frofa, his son was 
Freovit, his son Yvigg, bis son Gevis whom we call 
Gave. The third son of Ofin is named Siggi, his son 
Verir. These forefathers swayed in the land now 
called Frankland, and from them is come the race 


110 


FOREWORD TO THE EDDA. 


that is called Vavlsiingar. From all these arc groat 
and many races come. 

11. Then went Ofinn on his way northward, 
and came into the land that they called RefSgota- 
land, and had for his own in that land all that 
he would, he set up there in the land his son that 
hight Skiolld, his son bight Frifleif; thence is the 
race come that hight Skiblldiingar, those are the 
Danekings, and that hight now Jotland which was 
then called ReiSgotaland. 

After that fared he northward thither to the 
land now hight SvifioS, there was the king who 
is named Gy Hi, but when he learnt the faring of 
these Asiamen, who were called Asa, lie fared to 
meet them, and bade that Ofinn should have so 
much power in his realm as he himself willed ; and 
such luck followed their path, that wheresoever they 
dwellt in the land, then was there plenty and good 
peace 5 and all trowed that they swayed these ; and 
this too the mighty men of the land saw, that they 
were unlike other men whom they had seen in 
fairness and wit. In that land Ofhnn thought there 
were fair lands, and he choose for himself a stead for 
a burg, where it is now called Sigtiinir, he set up 
there lords, in the same likeness as had been in 
Trdja, and set twelve headmen in the stead to 


FOREWORD TO THE ED DA. 


Ill 


doom the law of the land, and he so moulded all 
rights as had been before in Troja, and as the 
Tyrks were wont. 

After that fared he northward until he fell 
upon the sea, which they trowed to lie about all 
lands, and set up there his son over the realm now 
high t Norway; he is called Saeimngr, and Norway’s 
kings tell their race up to him, and so also earls 
and other mighty men, as is said in Haleygiatale : 
but Ofinn had with him that son of his who is 
named Yngvi, who was king in Svifiod, and from 
him are come the stock who are called Ynglingar* 

O O 

These Asa took to them wives there within the 
land, but some for their sons, and these races waxed 
full many, so that about Saxland, and all thence 
about the north country they spread so, that the 
tongue of these Asiamen was the true tongue over 
all these lands; and men think they can deem from 
the way that the names of these forefathers arc 
written, that these names have belonged to this 
tongue, and (that) the Asa brought the tongue hither 
into the north country; into Norway and into Svi- 
Jiod, into Denmark and into Saxland; but in Eng- 
land there are old names of the land and towns, 
which one may skill to know that they have been 
given in another tongue than this. 


112 


AFTERWORD TO GYLFTS MOCKING. 


But the Asa set them now to talk, and take 
their rede and call to mind all these tales that were 
told him, (Gylli) and give these very same names, 
that are named before, to the men and steads that 
were there 5 for the sake that when long times pass 
by, men should not doubt, that those Asa of whom 
these tales were now told, and these to whom the 
same names were given, were all one. Then was 
there (one) called J?orr, and he is Asaforr, the 
old one he is Okuforr, and to him are given those 

f • 

great deeds that Ektor wrought in Troja; but men 
think that the Tyrks have told about Ulyxes, and 
have called him Loki, because the Tyrks were his 
greatest foes. 


AFTER- 


113 


AFTERWORD TO THE EDDA. 


1. Bui this is now to be said to young bards, 
to those who are eager to take to them speech meet 
lor song, or fill their store of words with old names, 
or are willing to skill to understand what is sung 
darkly 5 that they must master this book for their 
learning and passtime; but these sayings are not to 
be so forgotten or disproved, as to take away from 
songship names used of yore, which great bards have 
been pleased with,* yet should not Christian men trow 
on heathen Gods, nor on the truth of these sayings, 
otherwise than as is found in the beginning of the 
book, where it is said of the chances which led 
the folk of man away from the true belief, and 
next to that of the Tyrks, how the Asiamen, who 

^ are called Asa, falsed the tales of the tidings which 
were done in Troja, for that the landfolk should 
trow them to be Gods. 

2. Priamus king in Troja was a great lord 
over all the Tyrkish host, and his sons were most 
worshipped of all his host,* the famous hall, which 
the Asa called Brimirs hall or Biorsalr, that was 
king Priam’s hall,* hut as for the long story they 

8 


Afterword to the Edda. 


114 


AFTERWORD TO THE EDDA. 


made of tlie twilight of the Gods, that is the 
wars of the Trojan men; that which is said, how 
Okuforr angled with an oxhead, and drew on 
board Midgardsworm, but the worm kept his life 
so that he sank into the sea; that is said from 
this pattern, that Ector slew Volukrontes a famous 
champion, in the sight of the mighty Akillevs, 
and so drew him on to him with the head of the 
slain, which they likened to the head of the ox 
which Okuforr had torn off: but when Akillevs 
was drawn into this risk through his daring, then 
was it his lifes help that he fled before the bane- 
ful stroke of Hector, and as it was wounded: so 
also it is said that Ector waged the war so mightily, 
and so mickle was his rage when he saw Akillevs, 
that no thing was so strong that it might stand 
before him; and when he missed Akillevs he soothed 
his wrath in this wise, that he slew the champion 
hight Roddrus; (and) so say the Asa that when Oku- 
forr missed the worm, then slew he Ymir the giant. 
But in the twilight of the Gods came Midgards- 
worm unawares upon for, and blew on him with 
venom and struck him to his bane, but the Asa 
could not make up their minds to say that Okuforr 
had so fared, that any one stood over him dead, 
though so it had been, but they hurried over old 


AFTERWORD TO THE EDDA. 


115 


tales more than was true, when they said that Mid- 
gardsworm took there his bane, and they added 
this, that though Akillevs bore away the fame of 
Ector's death, yet lay he dead on the same field in 
the same way 5 that was the work of Elenus and 
Alexander, this Elenus call the Asa Ali. They say 
that he avenged his brother, and he lived when all 
the Gods were dead and the fire was slaked, when 
Asgard was burnt and all the goods of the Gods: 
but Pirrus they likened to Fenriswolf, he slew 
Odin; but Pirrus might be called a wolf in their 
belief, for that he spared not holysteads when he 
slew the king in the shrine before for’s altar. 
That which they call Surtr’s fire, is Troja’s burning. 
But Mofi and Magni 6kuf>or’s sons came to crave 
land of Ali or Vifarr, he is Eneas, he came away 
from Troja and wrought afterward great works. So 
is it also said that Ector's sons came to Frigialand 
and set themselves up in that realm and dravc 
away Elenus. 


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